American Beauty 


We were approached by artist Rachel Ara to produce an animation used as part of her art installation “American Beauty” at the Barbican Centre. American Beauty (a Trump L’oeil) uses film, poetry, humour and CGI to create an incongruous image that references film history, utopian architecture and contemporary politics. The iconic brutalist architecture of the Barbican becomes a glitch, a window through which we might catch a glimpse into our future.

Visitors watch as an orange hairpiece dances in the wind in perpetuity around the Barbican Estate, echoing the iconic scene from Sam Mendes’s American Beauty. The title itself a play on the phrase Trompe L’oeil – [Deceives the Eye]

This is a large scale projection using 2 Christie Projectors, projecting a computer generated image of the Barbican into the fabric of the building.  The film of the hairpiece blowing is on a 12 minute seamless loop.  As day fades, so the projection emulates it and switches into dusk, then the night scene which plays till the Barbican foyers close at 11pm.

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