A new film – part fiction, part documentary – explores London’s wildly creative and multifaceted East End with a colourful cast of characters. Directed by Oscar-winner Tim Yip, Love Infinity stars the renowned artistic duo Gilbert and George and ‘living sculpture’ Daniel Lismore, among many flamboyant others. Here, Maryam Eisler talks us through some riotous and poignant highlights
I love seeing Tim Yip (above, front row, right, sitting on the floor) and my fellow Love Infinity creative producer Mei-Hui Liu (far left, with the white collar) surrounded by such wonderful diversity of expression. Different worlds connected in the warmth of the moment, created by the film.
It’s Utopian, Darling
While demonstrating the breathtaking creativity of the featured artists such as Chrissy Darling (left), this image speaks also to Tim’s sensibilities as a director. Love Infinity is not a narrative film. It’s an aesthetic voyage through London by an outsider, attuned to the communicative potential of costume, with the sculpture Lili (centre) as a probe. Lili becomes Tim’s alter ego in this Utopian world of endless possibilities.
Welcome to Lobster Land
This is what Love Infinity is all about. Direct, unencumbered contact between the artist-film- maker Tim Yip (left), and the artists Pandemonia (centre) and Philip Colbert (right). We were in Philip’s Shoreditch studio, here. It was a sticky June morning in 2019, a year into what would become a two-year shoot and a four-year journey – and counting! Pandemonia (centre) must have been terribly hot in all that latex. In this scene, Philip is welcoming Pandemonia to Lobster Land, a digital town he created for his lobster alter ego.
Daniel Lismore and Lili (a mannequin) are the stars of Love Infinity. Christened ‘living art’ by the artists Gilbert & George, Daniel is a culture unto himself. While not exactly ‘living’, Lili is certainly art. Since their first appearance at an exhibition of Tim Yip’s work in Beijing in 2009, the ever-present Lilis have become the artist’s signature.
After telling Tim her strategy for saving the world from global warming, Vivienne Westwood (above, centre) shared her love of ancient China. In the film, she quotes Confucius, and tells Tim she writes poetry in the Taoist tradition, which she recites to Lili in one of the film’s most memorable scenes. Such a beautiful meeting of worlds and minds.
Gilbert & George (far left, alongside other cast members Stella, Lili and Tim) are perhaps the most famous living artist duo, quintessentially British, and fêted at museums round the world. Yet when they were young artists in the 1960s, they were total outsiders. In this film they embody a certain East End quality, in that this part of London tends to produce and attract writers, thinkers, and particularly artists who, from the fringes of culture, come to define the centre.
Maryam Eisler is the film’s co- creative producer, alongside Mei-Hui Liu; and Benjamin Teare, who is the creative editor and first assistant director. ‘Love Infinity’ is available to view on Mubi