27.09 –

Topologies of Air – exhibition at the Bahrain National Museum

Bahrain National Museum
Shaikh Hamad Causeway

Opening reception 27 September 2022, 6:00pm
Exhibition continues until 5 January 2023

The exhibition Topologies of Air at the Bahrain National Museum presents the latest installation under the same title by Scottish-Danish artist Shona Illingworth, commissioned by The Wapping Project.

Topologies of Air, an immersive three-screen and surround sound installation, traverses the cultural, geopolitical, environmental, technological and psychological layers of the sky, building an image of a complex and contested space, both shared and personal, and with a long history and rapidly changing future.

Filmed in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Japan, China, Spain and the United Kingdom, the installation invites us to consider the space above our heads, once open to our dreams and imaginings, as a territory undergoing radical transformations through human activities that, in turn, are reshaping our present and future.

Topologies of Air brings together voices of contributors from across international law, earth and life sciences, technology, neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, cultural studies, sociology, art, architecture, politics, theology, philosophy, environmental studies, economics and lived experience who took part in the Airspace Tribunal London, Airspace Tribunal Sydney, Sky Forum Bahrain and Sky Forum Sharjah, as well as conversations, interviews, discussions recorded during the production of the work between 2018 and 2020.

The exhibition is presented by The Wapping Project in partnership with Bahrain National Museum, and is generously supported by the British Council, DCMS and GREAT through the UK-Gulf exhibition programme.

Topologies of Air was commissioned and produced by The Wapping Project, London, with support from Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Sharjah Art Foundation, the British Council, Arts Council England and the University of Kent.

Shona Illingworth is a Scottish-Danish artist who works across video, sound, photography and drawing. She is known for her immersive video and multi-channel sound installations and evocative, research-led practice in which she explores the dynamic processes of memory, cultural erasure and the impacts of accelerating geopolitical, technological and environmental change.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, with shows at Les Abattoirs Musée-Frac Occitanie (Toulouse, France), The Power Plant (Toronto, Canada), Museum of Modern Art (Bologna, Italy), FACT (Liverpool, UK), UNSW Galleries (Sydney, Australia), and the Wellcome Collection (London, UK). She has received high profile commissions from Film and Video Umbrella, the Hayward Gallery and Channel 4 Television. Her work 216 Westbound was exhibited at the Imperial War Museum (London, UK) and was purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for the Imperial War Museum’s permanent collection.

Illingworth was shortlisted for the prestigious Jarman Award in 2016.