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Indepth Arts News:

"Solo Exhibition: Jane and Louise Wilson"
2004-01-23 until 2004-03-14
De Appel
Amsterdam, , NL

The work of the twin sisters Jane and Louise Wilson is strange, insistent  and impressive. Since starting to work together in 1989, the Wilsons have been fascinated by the power structures implicit in institutional buildings and the oppression and fear that these buildings can induce. Their video installations and photoworks show divergent images of the relationship between man and architectural space.

Power becomes visible in details of buildings and is evinced in the role played by codes. Gamma was filmed at Greenham Common, an American military base in Berkshire, England, that housed cruise missiles during the Cold War. Decommissioned in 1992, the base now lies deserted, its history captured by the Wilsons in disturbing images that seem both documentary and surreal. Moving through area after area of the site, the Wilsons’ camera evokes a sense of oppression, paranoia, and terror imparted by the everyday materials of military reality and the prospect of nuclear war.

Jane and Louise Wilson deliberately play with the line separating fact and fiction. Their works often consist of several components: video projections, series of photographs related to a specific place, and sometimes sculptures. By using different media, the Wilsons create theatrical and atmospheric installations that, in terms of scale and physical experience, have an immediate effect on the spectator. A Free and Anonymous Monument, a study of Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion, originally built in the city centre of Gateshead, reveals the decay of post-war modernism. Images of kids hanging around the neglected, grafitti-covered monument provide a melancholic picture of post-war architecture, itself an echo of a pre-war Utopia, that seems in the meantime to have become a dated vision of the future.

‘Jane and Louise Wilson’ at De Appel is the first survey of their work in the Netherlands.

Jane and Louise Wilson (Newcastle, 1967) live and work in London. Their work has been frequently exhibited in Europe and the United States. A selection of their exhibitions: 2003 Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, ‘A Free and Anonymous Monument’; ‘Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered’, Migros Foundation, Zurich 2002 Outer and Inner Space... a video exhibition in 3 parts’, Museum for Fine Arts, Richmond Virginia; ‘Wallflowers’, Kunsthaus Zürich 2001 ‘Egofugal’, VII Istanbul Biennial 2000 Stasi City and Crawl Space, MIT List Visual Art Centre, Cambridge 1999 ‘Clues’, Nederlands Instituut voor de Mediakunst, Amsterdam 1995 ‘Wild Walls’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. In 1999 they were nominated for the Turner Prize. One of their few solo exhibitions was shown that year at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

© Image by Jane & Louise Wilson / De Appel

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