In Conversation David Blandy and Annie Jael Kwan

David Blandy, Sunspot, film still, 2023. Courtesy the artist

Join artist David Blandy and curator and researcher Annie Jael Kwan as they discuss Blandy’s major new solo exhibition, Atomic Light. The discussion reflects his use of archives, from pop cultural collectables, through to historic records and collective memories. Chaired by Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé, this event is in-person at John Hansard Gallery.

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Atomic Light features four new films and are Blandy’s most ambitious productions to date. The works build upon his continued interest in history, the legacy of empire and the climate crisis. Two films are shot on location in Singapore and the UK, the other two created using archive and found footage.

Expanding on his Artist Residency at Towner Gallery, Eastbourne in 2022, Atomic Light includes immersive installations and associated ephemera. In Sunspot, two Observatories, one in California, one in Tokyo, both observe the same sun on the day an atomic sun was made on earth; the Hiroshima bomb that killed 100,000 people. In Soil, Sinew & Bone, using footage from Screen Archive South East, a history of war and a history of agriculture are mirrored, the fertile earth of phosphates and nitrates reflected into weapons of war.

Atomic Light is on show at John Hansard Gallery from 11 February until 6 May 2023.

About the speakers:

David Blandy makes work that slips between performance and video, digital and analogue, investigating the stories and cultural forces that inform and influence our lives. Researching archives, from the archive of the body to historic texts, archaeology and ecological theory, twitch streams and film archives, Blandy weaves poetic works that explore the complexities of the contemporary subject. He is represented by Seventeen Gallery, London. Films are distributed by LUX. 

Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator and researcher, whose exhibition-making, programming, publication, and teaching practice is located at the intersection of contemporary art, cultural and pedagogical activism. She leads Asia-Art-Activism, the research network, and Asia Forum for the contemporary art of Global Asias.

Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé lectures in Digital Media Practice with the University of Southampton. Her book Gothic Remixed (Bloomsbury, 2020) examines contemporary remix culture through the lens of monster studies, and her co-edited collection Embodying Contagion (UWP / NWO Gold Open Access, 2021) explores how fantastical metaphors of contagion have infiltrated the way news media, policymakers and the general public view the real world and the people within it. 

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