Jane and Louise Wilson (4 stars)

Major new film installation of surveillance-related work

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Jane and Louise Wilson

Jane and Louise Wilson are no strangers to going behind closed doors. In ‘Face Scripting – What Did the Building See?’, a major new film installation that forms the centrepiece of this body of surveillance-related work, they cast themselves as undercover operatives moving behind enemy lines.

A monitor plays out a forensically-assembled CCTV narrative showing the mundane comings and goings leading up to the murder in a Dubai hotel room of Hamas agent Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh. At the same time, the Wilsons’ own surreptitious after-hours footage pans through the same hotel corridors. Aided by an impressionistic voiceover, a true-life detective story is lent a poetic weight that’s heightened by the 16 large-scale mug shots of the disguised sisters that form ‘false positives and false negatives’.

The seven large-scale photographic prints that make up ‘Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum)’ bear similar witness, this time to deserted interiors within the 30km exclusion zone in place since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Black-and-white yardsticks mark out swimming pools and libraries like barcodes, which, as with the 1993 video, ‘8.30’ (a ground-level surveillance of a shell-suited interloper) suggests secret agents are everywhere, watching always.

Dundee Contemporary Arts, until Sun 25 Mar

Jane & Louise Wilson

Two bodies of recent work: Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum), a collection of photographs of sites around the abandoned town of Pripyat in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, and a film installation called Face Scripting – What Did the Building See?, exploring the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai.

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