Jane and Louise Wilson
- Neil Cooper
- 27 February 2012
Major new film installation of surveillance-related work
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