Jane and Louise Wilson

Jane and Louise Wilson, Atomgrad. 2010
Starts:6 Oct 2012
Ends:27 Jan 2013
What is it:Exhibition
Organiser:Whitworth Art Gallery
Venue opening hours:Mon to Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm
How much:FREE
Who is it for:Alumni, Current University students, General public, Post 16, Secondary schools, University staff


Jane and Louise Wilson.

Exhibition runs until 27 January 2013.

Bringing together recent works by the acclaimed British artists Jane and Louise Wilson, this exhibition features the world premiere of their new film The Toxic Camera alongside Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum). Commissioned by Forma to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, Atomgrad is a suite of large-scale photographs, depicting deserted interiors from the now almost entirely abandoned city of Pripyat, situated within the 30km wide exclusion zone around the former nuclear power station. The richly textured images of public spaces include a kindergarten, cinema and a swimming pool, all of which explicitly reveal years of decay and the hurried nature of their abandonment.

The Toxic Camera is a new film reflecting on the disaster, inspired by the film Chernobyl: A Chronicle of Difficult Weeks made by Soviet filmmaker Vladimir Shevchenko in the days immediately following the accident. On processing his film, Shevchenko noticed sections of it were heavily pockmarked and affected by static interference, coinciding with the sound of his Geiger counter measuring radiation, and realised that radiation was effectively ‘visible’ on the film material itself.

The Wilsons’ film explores interconnecting stories from interviews conducted with Chernobyl ‘veterans’ and with Shevchenko’s film crew, 25 years after the incident. The narrative includes the story of the camera that Shevchenko used which became so highly radioactive that it was subsequently buried on the outskirts of Kiev. The film is a reflection on the material nature of film and considers the human impact of the disasters in Chernobyl and the more recent explosion in Fukushima.

Credits: Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum), 2010 Jane and Louise Wilson Produced by Forma Commissioned and produced by Forma, in association with John Hansard Gallery, Dundee Contemporary Arts and Whitworth Art Gallery. Supported by Arts Council England. The development of this project is supported by the British Council Ukraine, the Center for Urban History of Central East Europe, Lviv and the Visual Culture Research Center, University of Kiev.

The Toxic Camera, 2012 Jane and Louise Wilson Commissioned by FLAMIN Productions. Co-produced by Forma and FLAMIN Productions. Supported through Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network and Arts Council England. Jane and Louise Wilson are represented by 303 Gallery, New York and Galeria Helga de Alvear, Madrid.

Image credits: Jane and Louise Wilson, Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum), 2010.

Price: FREE

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