Kranky Klaus and Spook House

Kranky Klaus and Spook House are part of The Artangel Collection

  • Artist: Cameron Jamie
  • Title: Kranky Klaus
  • Date: 2003
  • Medium: Single-channel video.
  • Dimensions: Overall display dimensions variable
  • Duration: 25 minutes 44 seconds

  • ‚ÄčArtist: Cameron Jamie
  • Title: Spook House
  • Date: 2003
  • Medium: Single-channel video.
  • Dimensions: Overall display dimensions variable
  • Duration: 20 minutes 49 seconds
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Everywhere there are kids or mannequins dressed as vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches, aliens leering clowns, disembodied heads, headless bodies, Freddie Krugers, Frankensteins and Osama bin Ladens. Black and white segments make some of these scenes resemble the early horror films that inspired them, while colour sequences return one to the prosaic reality of the suburban backdrop... the effect is hallucinatory and archaic, like a voodoo ceremony. —  Alex Farquharson, Frieze, May 2004

Filmed on a hand-held video in the white working-class suburbs of Detroits and in the conservative communities of the Austrian Alps, Spook House and Kranky Klaus reveal modern-day communities revelling in pagan rituals. In Spook House, front lawns are transformed into cemeteries, kitchens become mausoleums and dismembered 'bodies' are prepared for cannibal feasts. Jamie's camera tracks the celebrants as the nights become longer and darker and the celebrations become more menacing. In the run up to Christmas in small villages across the Austrian Alps, groups of bestial figures roam the streets and threaten the inhabitants. As St Nicholas rewards the good, so Krampus punishes the bad. Jamie's film Kranky Klaus tracks a herd of Krampus as they work their way through the villages mauling and menacing to the very limits of acceptable intimidation. Soundtracks by the cult heavy metal band Melvins emphasise the malevolent darkness of each film.


Image:  Cameron Jamie, Kranky Klaus, 2003.