Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

The House of Horrors (Le Train Fantôme) Sturtevant

The House of Horrors, which was created for Sturtevant’s monographic exhibition “The Razzle Dazzle Of Thinking” in 2010 at the ARC, was the artist’s last big installation and a masterly climax to her entire body of work. The artist and her dealer Thaddeus Ropac donated the work to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2013. The House of Horrors, is now displayed in a space of its own and has become one of the major works in the Museum’s permanent collection.

The horror of a fun fair ghost train is simulated, mixing references to drag queen Divine in John Waters’ film Pink Flamingos and references to iconoclastic artist Paul McCarthy’s video The Painter with traditional scenes of bats, skeletons and Frankenstein. The House of Horrors follows a winding trail to the rhythm of a soundtrack and lighting effects. It unabashedly explores the excesses of the present day: the domination of spectacle, anti-intellectualism, and also the generalisation of violence, hatred and the obscenity of puritanism. This full-size ghost-train installation is pure entertainment only in appearance, but the exhilaration is definitely there.