Jane & Louise Wilson

The New Brutalists

from the listing EXHIBITION
ARTY David Lynch - Christian Louboutin Fetish shoes
CINEMA Robinson Savary Bye bye blackbird
EXHIBITION Espace Louis Vuitton
FASHION WEEK Fashion Week Fall - Winter 2009/10
MUSIC Sir Alice The lady sings l’amour made in Taiwan
SEDUCTIVE Beauty or nothing

This exhibition includes the five screen video installation “Erewhon” and new photographic works. Here, for the first time, the Wilsons examine the social aspect of dystopia, the 'flip side' of their exploration of abandoned and brutalist architectural spaces.

Following a two-month residency with the Sofa Gallery and the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, Jane & Louise Wilson have created a disturbing visual narrative of the darker aspects of colonialism at the beginning of the twentieth century. “Erewhon“, a 5-screen video installation, takes its name from the title of Samuel Butler's satirical novel about a young traveller who goes to New Zealand to build a new life on the isolated continent. The Wilsons addressed the vast New Zealand landscape, looking particularly at two sites in the South Island - the once functioning mining town of Denniston on the West Coast and the recently vacated sanatorium of Queen Mary's hospital in Hamner on the East Coast. After the First World War the country suffered huge losses of its young male population, resulting in a need to re-populate and colonise the relatively young country. This prompted a discreet government-sanctioned implementation of early eugenics policies, which triggered a propagation of state-run sanatoriums and asylums. Medical science intervened on both willing and unwilling patients with the intended goal of creating a genetically superior, fit population. For the video installation “Erewhon”, the Wilsons also filmed female gymnasts in a setting inspired by archival photographs of a ladies exercise class from the 1900s. They create moving images, which are tense with exaggerated poses of stillness recalling the limitations of early photographic practice. At this time the concern for procreation in New Zealand was at its height and the medical establishment equated women's physical fitness with the regeneration of the population. The images in this work perpetuate an anthology of poses in a rigid geometric setting, removing it from a recorded document into an abstraction. The footage is projected on screens that surround the viewer from multiple sides, including overhead projections, bringing us more fully into the cinematic experience of the Wilsons’ work. It is significant that throughout their work, Jane and Louise Wilson consistently produce visually arresting, often beautiful images from sometimes challenging subject matter.


Jane & Louise Wilson
"The new Brutalists"


Lisson Gallery

52-54 Bell Street

London, NW1 5DA

T: + 44(0)20 7724 2739