The Surveyor

2010 Anthony Blunt spacial essay

Symbolic for the contradictions of the Cold War in his person and biography is the English art historian and double agent Anthony Frederick Blunt (1907-1983). Fabian Reimann deals with him in the multi-part installation “The Surveyor” (2008-10). The title refers to Blunt’s position as the director of the Queen’s Gallery, the royal collection of paintings. As a professor for art history at London and Oxford Universities, he is writing an important book about Poussin, which Reimann’s work “Poussin Lecture” refers to. Despite his immersion in the fine arts, Blunt keeps a sharp eye on the contradictions of his time. They lead him, a student in Cambridge, to Marxism. In the thirties he decides, because of the passive attitude of his country in respect to fascism, to work as a spy for the Soviet Union. During the outbreak of the Second World War, he becomes a double agent. A form of existence that couldn’t be any more difficult and whose schizophrenia is highlighted in Reimann’s superimposition “One Second Distance.” In the sixties, Blunt’s cover is blown. In his interrogation files later released, which Fabian Reimann’s carbon drawings document, the facts are blackened out. Thus, Blunt’s real motives remain a blind spot for the projections of the viewers.

The Surveyor consists of the following parts:
Freedom of Information Act: Carbon Copy
Freedom of Information Act: Prescripted Interrogation
One Second Distance
Poussin Lectures

Following the first presentation of the narrative installation »The Surveyor«, I felt I should expand the project, as a result of which a book of the same title was created. “The Surveyor”