New site-specific film commissions by internationally acclaimed artists Mark Wallinger and Lindsay Seers will be on show at Turner Contemporary from 7 July- 5 August 2012. The films respond to Margate and use footage filmed in locations around the town. Wallinger connects Margate’s unique geographical position to literary history, while Seers reflects saucy seaside entertainments through questions of sexual identity and doubling.
Realised in collaboration with Jacqui Davies and the University for the Creative Arts (School of Fine Art), the commissions see Turner Contemporary exhibiting the work in unusual spaces, as both are installed outside of the galleries designed by David Chipperfield Architects. Wallinger’s Sinema Amnesia sits adjacent to the sea wall behind the gallery, and Seers’s Entangled² takes audience members into a secret location in the building.
Mark Wallinger’s Sinema Amnesia is a special viewing space overlooking the sea behind the gallery. It shows the film The Waste Land, an ever-changing, endless picture of unfolding time. A lens is fixed to the structure recording the view out to sea. The recorded image is played back inside the space 24 hours later, like a delayed camera obscura. The film is inspired by T.S Eliot’s famous poem The Waste Land, partially written on Margate Sands and exploring the disconnected time of modernity. Wallinger’s time machine calls memory and perception into question. Sinema Amnesia is a new version of a project first created in Çanakkale, Turkey in 2010.
Lindsay Seers’s film installation Entangled² captures a pair of female actresses dressed as men on the stages of Margate’s two great entertainment venues, the Theatre Royal and the Winter Gardens. Both theatres historically hosted scores of famous performers, and Seers takes particular interest in two male impersonators from early 20th century music hall, Hettie King and Vesta Tilley. As in all of Seers’s work, Entangled² weaves several narratives together: the actresses’ doubled identities connect to Seers’s fascination with her great-great uncle’s condition Heterochromia, where different coloured eyes result from one twin subsuming the other in the womb. Entangled² sweeps visitors into a saucy seaside past where the boundaries between people blur.
Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary said: “We are thrilled to be working with Mark and Lindsay on two exciting commissions. Prior to the opening of the gallery we had to be inventive in our use of spaces and these commissions follow in that vein.”
Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice-Chancellor at UCA, said: “We are extremely excited to have this unique opportunity to commission new works by two of Britain’s most compelling artists.
“It is good to be working once more with Turner Contemporary, not just because it has quickly established itself as one of Britain’s important new galleries but also because it is a gallery with which UCA is proud to have had a close relationship during its development.
“We commissioned these works so that our students and staff could benefit from the experience of working closely with Mark Wallinger and Lindsay Seers, we are thrilled by the works that have been produced and hope the people of Margate find them interesting and stimulating.”
Mark Wallinger and Lindsay Seers were commissioned by curator Jacqui Davies and a partnership between University for the Creative Arts and Turner Contemporary. Both commissions are free to enter and are open Tuesday to Sunday, with entry to Sinema Amnesia during gallery opening hours (10am–6pm) and performances of Entangled² on the hour throughout the day (11am–4pm).
Mark Wallinger and Lindsay Seers will be in conversation with Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice Chancellor of University for the Creative Arts at 3pm on Saturday 7 July 2012. Tickets are £5 (£4 concession) available from turnercontemporary.org
Mark Wallinger was born in Chigwell in 1959. He lives and works in London. He studied at Chelsea School of Art, London (1978-81) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1983-85). Since the mid-1980s Wallinger’s primary concern has been to establish a valid critical approach to the ‘politics of representation and the representation of politics’ and has often explored issues of the responsibilities of individuals and those of society in his work. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1995 and represented Britain at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001.
Lindsay Seers works and lives in London. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (BA Hons, Sculpture and Media 1991-94) and at Goldsmiths College, University of London (MA Fine Art 1999-2001). Lindsay Seers has won several grants and awards. Recently she won the Paul Hamlyn Award 2010 which supports artists at a crucial period in their career. In 2009 she won the Derek Jarman Award – an award that recognizes individual artist film-makers, she also received the Wingate Scholarship from The British School at Rome 2007/8.