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Art gallery hosting First World War video installation

Wolverhampton Art Gallery is hosting large-scale video installation Undead Sun by Jane and Louise Wilson.

The free exhibition looks at the impact of the First World War and can be seen during gallery opening hours Monday to Saturday (10.30am to 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 4pm).

Jane and Louise have been working as an artist duo in collaboration for over two decades. They graduated in 1989 with a joint degree show in Dundee and Newcastle, then continued in a working collaboration through their postgraduate at Goldsmiths College, graduating 1992.

Since 1990, they have gained a national and international reputation as artists working with photography and the moving image, installation in an expanded form of cinema and lens-based media.

The duo have brought to Wolverhampton a film that considers how so many of the products of the First World War conflict continue to shape our contemporary experience. At its heart is a now familiar pattern of military action in which control of the airspace assumes as much strategic importance as the campaign on the ground.

Inspired by archive photographs and artefacts, and by diary entries and personal testimonies, the piece reflects on the visceral, elemental forces that the war unleashed. Not only effecting a change of view from the air, it provoked a change in view of the air – instilled by the terror of gas attacks, the thunder of heavy artillery or the disorientating turbulence and violence of speed.

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy said:

“Throughout 2018, Wolverhampton has been marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with commemorations across the city and this exhibition is a tribute.

“Visitors to the gallery are able to delve into the film and see how the past has structured our present day.”

Jane and Louise Wilson said:

“We wanted to underscore the paradoxical relationship between warfare and technological progress, emphasizing the evolving surveillance programme of World War I, as a precursor to current day drone technology.”

Undead Sun was premiered at the Imperial War Museum and commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella in partnership with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. 

Issued by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Communications Team. For more information, please call 01902 555439.

Image caption: Undead Sun, Jane & Louise Wilson, 2014 (video still). Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, for IWM (Imperial War Museums), in partnership with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. With special thanks to Artliner and 303 Gallery, New York.

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