Described as “brilliant cinematic labyrinths. Visually striking and playfully rigorous” the films occupy wildly different stylistic positions. Collectively they are an enquiry into the relationship between representation and materiality, flesh, politics, language, thinking, feeling and the act of looking via a diverse range of historical, intellectual and pop cultural sources– from underground theater, psychoanalysis, melodrama, classical literature, the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche or John Ruskin, the photographic pioneer Étienne Jules Marey to the playing of a Nintendo Wii.
Wardill poses fundamental questions about perception, image-making and the mysteries and mechanisms of human communication. Integral to which is the works’ complex and intense deployment of sound as an almost material element equivalent to that which is seen.
“My films deconstruct their own visual languages, in a way that is inspired by an attempt to empower the viewer, but which also emphasizes the irreducible strangeness of images. The form of the work is always informed by the subject matter – taking style and a changing of styles is as highly important to the subject as the work itself.” - Emily Wardill
Three public lectures by Emily Wardill and Ian White mark the beginning, middle and end of the exhibition. Conceived as a triptych they respond to the themes of the show in both form and content, proposing three different routes through the work on display. The lectures also provide the structure for the publication ‘We are behind’ that accompanies the exhibition, published by de Appel arts centre and Book Works, London.