Asta Lynge and Camilla Wills

BRUSSELS

DÉPENDANCE
Rue du Marché aux Porcs 4-8
March 6–April 10, 2021

Camilla Wills, A life (detail), 2021, C-type print on paper, 76 x 52 x 2 1/2". © Marie Colvin photographed by Don McCullin, 2005.
Camilla Wills, A life (detail), 2021, C-type print on paper, 76 x 52 x 2 1/2″. © Marie Colvin photographed by Don McCullin, 2005.

In confronting the scopic regimes that underpin national identity and ideological reproduction, “Volunteer,” an exhibition by Asta Lynge and Camilla Wills, joins two procedurally close but formally distinct bodies of work. Viewers are greeted by Anti-imperial Monochromes (all works 2021), for which Wills covered five Royal British Legion poppy wreaths, made by sick and wounded veterans for Remembrance Day in signal-gray floor paint. What do these solemn, ambiguously alluring objects commemorate—the bodies that lent themselves to empire or the decay of empire itself? In Lynge’s Escape, a cracked and opaque miniature staircase made from recast float glass leads to a sheet of metal: a wink at the ubiquity of see-through glass in contemporary design, which tends to shroud its erosion of privacy behind false espousals of transparency. Her video How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore follows up this concern: Filmed with a 360-degree fisheye camera, the work, in documenting the artist shoplifting a bulb of garlic, prompts us to reimagine forms of social accountability beyond sur- and sousveillance.

The show’s motifs of information gathering, subjectivity, embodiment, and ocularity are beautifully drawn together in A life, Don McCullin’s photograph of the ravishing, one-eyed Marie Colvin, the late iconic war reporter for the Sunday Times, here reformatted by Wills for an oversize frame originally made for the late Susan Hiller. Repeatedly putting her life at risk, Colvin made it her mission to reveal the unseen, to turn her gaze into that of the world, thus exploring what it might mean to give an eye/I for an eye/I.

— Tom Engels

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