Safe Light, Reflected Ballroom

Jane and Louise Wilson (1967 - )

C-type photographic print on aluminium


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© Jane and Louise Wilson

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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    Safe Light, Reflected Ballroom reveals Jane and Louise Wilsons’ fascination with institutional space and the anxieties and fears it can engender. In this photograph, the spatial dimensions of an empty industrial warehouse interior are distorted. Polished screens bisect the space, their wavy, distorted reflections adding to the visual ambiguity. Further back, generic office equipment is arrayed on shelves and cupboards, while two computer monitors flicker in blue. The ‘safety’ alluded to by the title, combined with the vivid yellow light that floods this image, adds to the overall tension of a scene permeated with disquiet and apprehension.

    Safe Light, Reflected Ballroom is one of a series of photographs that the Wilsons shot at a factory in north east England in 2003, during a period when they were producing a 13-screen video installation, A Free and Anonymous Monument. Inspired by the Apollo Pavilion originally designed in the 1950s by the British artist, Victor Pasmore for Peterlee, a new town in the region, their video recreated the sense of walking though the original pavilion. Their choreography of slow, fluid images in many of their films is inspired by directors, Stanley Kubrick, R. W. Fassbinder and Andrei Tarkovsky.

  • About the artist
    Jane and Louise Wilson were born in Newcastle. From 1986 to 1989, Jane trained at Newcastle Polytechnic and Louise studied at the Duncan Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. Both graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1992, since when they have worked collaboratively. Jane and Louise Wilson's practice encompasses film, video and installation, produced often intense periods of research. One of their major early works, 'Stasi City' (1997), was produced after having spent 16 months based in Germany. The Wilsons have designed theatrical sets for Michael Tippett’s opera, 'The Knot Garden'; and worked with the director, David Poutney on Wagner’s 'The Flying Dutchman'. In 1999, they were shortlisted for the Turner Prize; and they have exhibited widely around the world including shows in the US, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Recent projects include a new public commission at the Great Exhibition of the North (2018); and the exhibition, 'In Focus: Jane and Louise Wilson’s Sealander' at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (2017). In 2018, they were elected as Royal Academicians.
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  • Details
    Safe Light, Reflected Ballroom
    C-type photographic print on aluminium
    height: 180.00 cm, width: 180.00 cm
    Purchased from Lisson Gallery, August 2006
    none visible
    GAC number