JHG Footprints Theme 2: A Sense of Time and Place

Victor Burgin, Belledonne, from the exhibition Barthes/Burgin, 2016. Courtesy the artist

JHG Footprints is an online exhibition using John Hansard Gallery’s archive. Four themes will be selected, each running for a fortnight, during which time we will be posting material from artists and shows associated with the chosen concept.


Theme 2: A Sense of Time and Place

It is not that the past casts its light on what is present or that what is present casts its light on what is past; rather, an image is that in which the Then and Now come together into a constellation like a flash of lightening. 

– Walter Benjamin 

“As a reoccurring motif ‘a sense of time and place’ transpire in a myriad of exhibition narratives throughout John Hansard Gallery’s 40-year historic programme. By the means of striking imagery and powerful audio, art can transport a person to absolutely anywhere, be it the snowy peaked caps of the Alps (Victor Burgin’s Belledonne, 2016) or the desolate city of Pripyat, Ukraine (Jane & Louise Wilson, 2011) by way of example 

To amplify, I would like to focus on a single artwork from one particular exhibition, Uriel Orlow’s Unmade Film. The ‘Voice Over’ memorably flooded the Gallery spaces in the form of an audio-walk set in Deir Yassin, Jerusalem. The audio piece was installed within a carpeted gallery space, where the lights gradually dimmed as the tour guide led the listener through and around the grounds of Deir Yassin, leaving the spectator in complete darkness by the close of the tour. The listener was transported from Southampton to Jerusalem and invited to investigate the sense of one historic tragedy overlapping another, in a delicately devised superimpositionVia an audio-walkOrlow was able to conjure two particular narratives brought ‘…together into a constellation like a flash of lightening’.” 

Nadia Thondrayen, Exhibitions Curator
Joined John Hansard Gallery in 2014

Uriel Orlow, Unmade Film, 2015. Courtesy the artist
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