Borders on Mars

23 OCTOBER 2020. '/artefact' a new video installation by Nye Thompson launches as lead artwork in Biennial Moving Image Festival Visions in the Nunnery 2020

A supertall barrier wall splits the arid wastes of Mars. In the ultimate exoplanetary power flex artist Nye Thompson has exploited mapping data systems to lay claim to an area of Mars and erect a border around her territory. You are not a citizen. The wall now defines your journey. The excluded viewer must navigate along the exterior of this undocumented artefact, phasing through alien landscapes of cobalt dust dunes and plunging chasms in the remote anticipation of access.

In an age of proliferating border walls /artefact explores the symbolic act of wall building - the awkward mapping of political power onto an indifferent geography. It blurs the boundaries between the ‘scientific objectivity’ of satellite imagery and the imaginative/subjective re-contextualisation of conspiracy theories, exploring the area of slippage between the two and the ambiguous nature of image-led ‘reality’ in a digitally mediated world.

'/artefact' was originally commissioned by The Lowry for their biennial Week 53 Festival. After the festival was cancelled because of the pandemic this work was extensively re-imagined and recreated during lockdown, with the assistance of a Bursary from a-n. This show represents the World Premiere of this powerful and immersive new work.

'/artefact' is a single channel HD video installation with surround sound.

It is showing at The Nunnery, 181 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ until Sunday, November 15. Gallery opening hours are Tue to Sun, from 11am-4pm.

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