Jane & Louise Wilson (b. 1967)
Stasi City (1997)
Star City / Proton, Unity, Energy, Blizzard (2000)
Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson (born 1967 Newcastle upon Tyne) are British artists who work together as a sibling duo. Jane and Louise Wilson's art work is based in video, film and photography. They are YBA artists who were nominated for the Turner Prize.
Louise studied for a BA at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee and Jane at Newcastle Polytechnic (1989). For their degree show they submitted identical work (photographs where they appeared to be murdering each other, one by drowning, one with a noose).
Jane and Louise Wilson then studied together on the MA course at Goldsmiths College, London (1990-2). When they left art school, they lived in King's Cross and made films of small living spaces, such as bed and breakfast rooms. Another early film showed them taking LSD for the first time.
Jane and Louise Wilson's work together includes multiscreen video installations and photo-pieces; their artworks often feature institutional spaces, for example an oil rig, the archives of the Stasi in East Berlin (the building had previously been used by the Nazis and Stalin's Russia), The Houses of Parliament, and the Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee designed by Victor Pasmore.
The pair were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999, cited for their exhibition, Gamma at the Lisson Gallery in London. On the run up to the Turner Prize winner announcement, they also had a solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Art works that were exhibited included Stasi City, Parliament (A Third House), and Gamma, a multiscreen video installation that was filmed at the former US military base at Greenham Common in Berkshire. This site was used to house nuclear cruise missiles during the Cold War and decommissioned in 1992. The Wilsons' video moves through the deserted institution, where nothing is now happening, evoking disturbing memories and possibilities. There is a sense of unease and threat, implied but never realised. They are the only characters in the film, appearing in military-style skirts and polished black shoes.
In 2003, The Wilsons developed their work with greater complexity, involving not only multiple projections but also a variety of differently positioned surfaces as screens in the art work and exhibition A Free and Anonymous Monument (2003). It includes films of a microchip factory, playing children, a lake, a rusting oil rig and the Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee New Town, near Gateshead.