Coming soon – IWM Contemporary: Mark Neville

With just under a month to go until we re-open on 19 July we’re busy installing our new galleries and displays including the upcoming exhibition IWM Contemporary: Mark Neville.

This new exhibition, open until 25 September 2014, will showcase the work that British artist Mark Neville created in 2011 when he spent two months with 16 Air Assault brigade in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Neville was taken out on patrol in Helmand and met both Afghan civilians and British soldiers. He filmed and photographed the people he encountered using a variety of innovative approaches including slow motion filming, and the use of a series of backdrops made with images of past wars.

Image: Production still from ‘Backdrops’, 16mm film, 2011, Mark Neville

One film featured within the exhibition, entitled ‘Bolan Market’, is a silent slow-motion film that Mark shot from an armoured ‘Husky’ vehicle as it moved through a market renewed following Taliban withdrawal.

Image: Still from ‘Bolan Market’, 2.30 mins, from 16mm film, Mark Neville, 2011

“I am interested in exploring the social function of art, looking at how films and photographs can impact upon the real world; most of my work is made in a collaborative process intended to be of direct, practical benefit to the subject. For me, Bolan Market was the most successful piece I made during the commission to Afghanistan. I filmed it as we drove through the market on an armoured vehicle. The slow motion film reveals the complex emotions on the faces of the locals we passed as they reacted to both tank and camera, as well as conveying my own deep sense of unease – each moment those faces gazed at me and the camera seemed extended, prolonged, infinite…”

Mark Neville, 2014.

Once a heavily-guarded Taliban area and now a neutral zone, Neville has captured Afghanistan on the verge of change.

“I am pleased to be showing my work at IWM London and hope that it will invite and provoke questions and reactions from the audience about what our presence in Afghanistan really means”

Part of IWM Contemporary – our programme of contemporary art and photography in response to war and conflict – this new exhibition opens on 19 July along with our new First World War Galleries, atrium and permanent exhibitions.

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