‘Going, Gone’ is a show that was originally commissioned to coincide with Britain’s exit from the EU. Though the works find themselves in a less certain political landscape, the show remains a simple but acute comment on these tumultuous times, writes Hannah Kelly.
Selected from over 145 applicants, the two works featured are moving image pieces by the artists Richard Whitby and duo Webb-Ellis. The simplicity of the curation, focused entirely on two works, is one of its greatest attributes. Moving image pieces require time and full immersion, which the sparse detail and darkened surrounding allow plenty of space and time for.
The first work is Whitby’s The Lost Ones. Here different individuals are filmed in a waiting room being interviewed by an automated voice that becomes increasingly invasive and hostile. Sliced into the scene are images that appear to come from one’s nightmares. The piece is well developed and draws one through the layered comments on immigration with subtlety, yet it never disappears so far into the abstract that it loses its audience. As the improvisation becomes increasingly invasive, the sense of a loss of control and eventual grip on reality is both hard to watch and equally hard to forget.
The second piece by artists Webb-Ellis reflects more on the sense of nostalgia and uncertainty in the generation growing up today. Two screens depict a group of teenagers as they move from a sunset, beach fires, to a rave, to fairgrounds and back out into the night. Set in the summer or 2018 in Yorkshire the fragmentation in the split screens evokes a sense of now and not yet. There is a time that is passing and a future which is deeply uncertain. Yet there is a thread that runs through both screens and out into the space of youthful hope; both naïve and yet granted importance in the artistic setting. These pieces mark a beginning in the artistic world of a discussion surrounding these changing times and it’s highly worthwhile giving each piece some time.
Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN until June 2nd. Times: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday 12 – 5p. Admission: Free. Phone: 020 7654 0171