Charles Atlas’ fictional portrait of the charismatic choreographer serves as a vivid invocation of the studied decadence of the 1980s post-punk London subculture.
Production design is by Leigh Bowery, who also appears. Much of the music is by The Fall, and Mark E. Smith and Brix Smith appear in a mock interview with Clark. Additional music is provided by Glenn Branca and Bruce Gilbert of Wire.
Contriving a faux cinema-verite format in which to stage his stylized fiction, Atlas seamlessly integrates Clark’s extraordinary dance performances into the docu-narrative flow.
Focusing on Clark’s flamboyantly postured eroticism and the artifice of his provocative balletic performances, Atlas posits the dance as a physical manifestation of Clark’s psychology.
From the surreal opening dream sequence to the final solo dance, Clark’s milieu of fashion, clubs and music signifies for Atlas “a time capsule of a certain period and context in London that’s now gone.”
This screening is presented in collaboration with the ICA, as part of the Art & Screen Network, funded by Arts Council England.