The dystopian landscapes of British artists Jane and Louise Wilson’s new show at the Whitworth Art Gallery resonate especially strongly with those who have suffered sleepless nights in fear of nuclear war. Headlining the opening of the new autumn season, which begins on Saturday 6 October, the most striking highlight of this presentation is the premiere of the new film The Toxic Camera, which takes as its starting point the Soviet film Chernobyl: A Chronicle of Difficult Weeks, by Vladimir Shevchenko. The Wilsons’ film returns to Shenchenko’s documentary footage, made within weeks of the 1986 disaster, and explores links between the recollections of those directly affected by the disaster and the documentary’s film crew. The other work on show, dramatic photography from the Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum) series (pictured), depicts deserted interiors from the now almost entirely abandoned city of Pripyat, laid to waste by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster fallout zone. These haunting portraits of devastation and decay expose the humanity in catastrophe that JG Ballard strived to portray in words. In light of the more recent explosion at the Fukushima power plant in Japan, the show reminds us we should tread lightly with these forces beyond our complete control.

Sat 6 Oct – Sun 27 Jan 2013. Free. Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, M15 6ER, Tel: 0161 275 7450, Mon – Sat 10-5pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm, FREE,

Sat 6 Oct - Sun 27 Jan
Connie Witham
Published on:
Sun 20 Jan 2013