John and Michael (The Chemical History of a Candle) is a performance which was created at Flat Time House. It takes as its starting point a brief moment in a video shot by Laure Prouvost of John Latham giving a tour through his home when he pauses by a bookcase and extracts a few books. Among these is Michael Faraday’s 1861 book of lectures for young people, The Chemical History of a Candle. Responding to Latham’s unorthodox and sculptural treatment of books, the contents page of this series of six lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames given at the Royal Institution serves as a choreographic score.

The work was developed from a performance commissioned by Flat Time House and the video was shot there.

Flat Time House (210 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4BW) was the studio and home of John Latham. In 2003 he declared the house a living sculpture. It has been open to the public since 2008 and will close Summer 2016.


Camera by Sam Hepworth

Voiceover by Nicola Guy


Flat Time House

The Chemical History of a Candle