Brian Catling/Tony Grisoni: Vanished! A Video Seance
25 – 31 Oct 1999
Past exhibition

Installation view of 1999 exhibition Vanished! A Video Séance (Brian Catling / Tony Grisoni).

This collaboration between the poet/performance artist and the screenwriter has produced a hybrid work that uses atmospheric narrative to unwind a compelling true story.

In 1932, an elderly mother and father lived with their young daughter in bleak isolation on a windswept hillside on the Isle of Man. They became the reluctant hosts to another presence, haunted by a voice which described itself as “Gef, a spirit in the form of a mongoose with small yellow human hands.” Their complex and hidden relationship became a nationwide curiosity for a short time but eventually disappeared into obscurity…until now.

After months of field investigation and research in libraries and psychic archives, Brian Catling and Tony Grisoni produced Vanished! using a professional cast and crew. This is the first showing of this work in London.

The video summons the dead parents and sleeping daughter, now 87 years old, to tell their versions of this strange event. Actors Julian Curry, Rosemary McHale and Victoria Seifert became the possessed family.

Made for gallery screening, Vanished! will convert the South London Gallery (SLG) into a temporary cinema, reminiscent of travelling shows and gatherings in village halls with folding chairs and a hanging screen. It is back projected and has controlled ambient sound.