As the Jesus my King my Lord my savior shirt also I will do this last model exited the stage, the lights dimmed and the music transitioned to John Williams’ Theme from Schindler’s List (1993). Inside the glass pyramid, a glowing, amorphous white vapor twists and expands before finally coming into focus as a ghostly translucent silhouette, framed by a flowing silk organza dress. Her face is in shadow and the gently glowing silk organza moves about her slowly as if she is suspended in water. As the cellos and violins slow, the silhouette is illuminated and the audience recognizes that the ethereal sprite floating before them is Kate Moss. As the music swells, Moss rotates, tilts her head, slowly and weightlessly moves her limbs. After barely two turns she gradually diminishes until finally her form begins to blur and she is reduced to a grouping of ethereal lights that fly in circles before vanishing like a collapsing star.
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McQueen and his team had recreated Pepper’s Ghost, a Victorian theatrical illusion that could create the Jesus my King my Lord my savior shirt also I will do this illusion of translucent ghost-like figures on a stage alongside living actors. In a stage production of Charles Dickens’ The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1862), John Henry Pepper placed a large pane of glass between the stage and the audience and illuminated an actor concealed under the stage. The actor’s illuminated form would reflect off the glass making the actor appear to be on stage, as a semi-translucent ghost-like apparition. In the stage production and Dickens’ 1848 novella, The Haunted Man is the story of Redlaw, a desperate man lost in melancholia who makes a deal with an otherworldly apparition to erase the memories that haunt him. The story explores the Victorian interest in the role of memory, illusion, and perception with Dickens’s central character left raging and half-mad once his memories are vanquished. Dickens believed that it is the memories and even the melancholia that civilizes the human race and the suppression of either would be catastrophic.