Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives at Work GalleryCultureArt
Currently on loan from the Stanley Kubrick Archive at University of the Arts London are a number of original Kubrick documents. These include letters to and from Kubrick, candid on-set photographs and location shots, all on display at the WORK gallery in Kings Cross. The exhibition documents Kubrick’s attention to detail in three of his most revered films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket.
The WORK gallery located in the middle of King Cross in between a house and a garage is a pleasant surprise. Covered in vines and plants the outside of the gallery is inviting, while unfortunately the interior is nothing particularly special compared to what is on display.
There are four sections to the exhibition all within the same intimate open-plan room. The first section features letters, documents and photographs from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In a letter from Kubrick himself, he expresses his dismay and frustration for the inability to create the spaceship the way he imagined it. He adds a personal, humorous touch to the letter that serves as a great example of how these exhibitions allow you to gain insight into Kubrick’s personality and his need for perfection. Many of the letters, documents and photographs have been altered by Kubrick’s hand; he has removed words, added ideas or drawn preliminary objects onto location stills that mirror images we recognise from his films. The second and third sections continue to explore Kubrick’s meticulous mind through the evolution of the locations of The Shining and Full Metal Jacket, including a look at how Kubrick transformed a derelict coal manufacturing site in London into the war-torn remnants of the Vietnamese town of Huế.
The final section is on two tables in the middle of the open-plan room. There sit several vintage magazines with interviews and articles on Kubrick and his work. The exhibition illustrates Kubrick’s artistic genius, and through his additions to photographs and annotations to letters and scripts we are brought closer to Kubrick on personal level. Though the exhibition space is bland with its painted grey concrete walls, the content inside is an amalgamation of the importance of detail and the power of images.
The exhibition marks the publication of Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives, a collection of essays by scholars working to gain a new insights into Kubrick’s 50 years of filmmaking.
Hannah St Jean
Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives is at WORK Galley from 8th August until 27th September 2014, for further information visit here.
Photo courtesy of Stanley Kubrick Film Archive LCC and University of the Arts London.