Badischer Kunstverein announces Emily Wardill. Fulll Firearms

The Badischer Kunstverein presents Emily Wardill. Fulll Firearms on view 27.01.-09.04.2012.


Emily Wardill, “Fulll Firearms” (Filmstill), 2011.

The exhibition is organized around Wardill’s latest film, Fulll Firearms, which was produced with support from Badischer Kunstverein, and will receive its German premiere in this exhibition. At Badischer Kunstverein Fulll Firearms will be accompanied by new sculptures, collages as well as video and sound-based works that have a close connection with the film.

Wardill’s film Fulll Firearms is based around the genre of the melodrama and confronts the structure of linear narration, breaking up, shifting and dissolving, all of which represent characteristics of Wardill’s films. The film revolves around the relationships between the protagonists as well as their behaviour in times of conflict. Wardill creates a tension between characters that exist at the borders of physical and mental capacity: instability, paranoia and a loss of reality are not found on the edges of modern society, but at its centre. They represent the drivers of a plot that questions the normalisation and control of social behaviour.

In Fulll Firearms it is the delusion of the figure of Imelda that draws the story along and undermines the distinction between imagination and reality. Imelda is the daughter of an arms manufacturer and is possessed by the idea that she will be haunted by the ghosts of those killed by her father’s weapons. She uses her inheritance to pay for a large house intended to accommodate the ghosts and lessen her guilt. Her fantasies are contrasted with the targeted approach of the architect who tries to implement her wishes architecturally, but whose grasp of reality becomes increasingly unsettled – the building is occupied by squatters who Imelda believes to be the ghosts she has been expecting and who take up a permanent place in her life.

The construction of communication and language is another important element in the artist’s work, as is the relationship between sound and image. Just as images overlap, withdraw or fracture, a multiplicity of oral and musical elements interweave with one another. They intensify or consciously crisscross the story with their rhythms. The soundtrack for Fulll Firearms, made by Wardill, references the Italian progressive rock band Goblin who were famous in the 1970s for their film music. The exhibition devotes a section to this soundtrack. A record is being produced in cooperation with Apparent Extent, Cologne, and LUX, London.

For Emily Wardill the medium of film represents both a space and a frame. People, objects and images operate as if on a stage or two-dimensionally as in a collage. Film is also a performative and collective process for the artist. In preparation for Fulll Firearms she organised a series of workshops with actors and others involved in the project, in which sections of the script were developed as a group. Elements of this collaborative work can also be found in the exhibition.

Emily Wardill (b. 1977, Rugby) lives in London. Her films have been screened at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Witte de With, Rotterdam, London Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Whitechapel Gallery and Tate Britain, London, among others. Solo shows (selection): De Appel, Amsterdam; The Show-
room, London; Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden; Standard, Oslo; Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. Group shows (selection): M HKA, Antwerp; 54th Venice Biennale; Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; Hayward Gallery, London and MOCA, Miami.

The Baden Art Association (Badischer Kunstverein) was founded in Karlsruhe in 1818, and is the second-oldest art association in Germany. It has actively presented and promoted contemporary art since the beginning of the 19th century through to the 21st century. The continuity of its programme and its professional work have earned the Baden Art Association a reputation in regional and international art circles and have substantially contributed to the cultural image of the city of Karlsruhe. – www.badischer-kunstverein.de

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