This week’s exhibitions: David Austen, Oxford (The Guardian, 18 December 2010)

Just in time for panto season, here’s artist David Austen’s first feature-length film, End Of Love, a post-apocalyptic vaudeville number recalling cinema’s early days. Its cast of characters include Jack the Giant Killer, a trapeze artist, a dark angel, two lovers, a dandy, an old moon and a homeless man, all performing in an abandoned theatre to rows of empty seats, at the end of the world. Until he began making films four years ago, Austen was best known for his bold text paintings. Depicting suggestive pared-down snippets culled from old movies and 19th-century literature, phrases like “THE CITY OF LOVE AND FEAR” conjure up dark, poetic worlds. End Of Love continues these themes, exploring elusive loves and fragile memories with tragicomic aplomb.

Modern Art Oxford, to 20 Feb

Skye Sherwin

Guardian website link