Search and Destroy

Jane and Louise Wilson’s images are highlighted in a new exhibition

John Armstrong

The artist siblings Jane and Louise Wilson came up with the idea to photograph abandoned Nazi bunkers on France’s Normandy Coast in 2006, after reading an article by J.G. Ballard on their place in modernist architecture. “We were intrigued by the bunkers that were being drawn back into the water,” Jane says. “It was like something from an ancient civilization, but darker.” Eight years later, three images from that series are featured in Ruin Lust, an exhibition opening March 4 (running through May 18) at London’s Tate Britain. Other highlights include Tacita Dean’s film Kodak 2006, which documents the end of production of the emblematic film stock at the company’s French factory, and Rachel Whiteread’s 1996 photo series that captures London housing blocks at the moment of demolition. Ruins, says the show’s curator, Brian Dillon, “are horrific, nostalgic, noble, sentimental, antique, and futuristic—all at once.”

Jane and Louise Wilson's Biville, 2006. Courtesy of the artists.