Jane and Louise Wilson’s work delves into collective anxieties to unearth the latent unease in various secretive architectural spaces. The identical twins, who have worked together since 1989, presented three film installations at the Serpentine in 1999, each based around one of Europe’s least accessible sites: the former Stasi headquarters in Berlin; Greenham Common, the shadowy RAF base in Berkshire; the Houses of Parliament. Another work explored the key sites of the Russian space programme, from the huge Star City complex in Moscow to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
These descriptions of the psychology of space, of the architecture and articulation of influence, all dwell on the unknown interiors that lie behind famous facades. In 2007, Outset facilitated the production of ‘The Silence is Twice as Fast Backwards’, a site-specific sound-piece installed at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire as part of the second annual ‘Reconstruction’ sculpture project. The starting-point for the work is a line heard on the radio by the poet protagonist in Jean Cocteau’s 1950 film ‘Orphée’, in which it is a spectral broadcast from the underworld.
The work utilizes a recording from a specially commissioned eight-bell peal from a nearby church, and comprises a series of speakers hidden among a line of thick, tunnel-like hedges in Sudeley’s grounds, creating a disquieting sense of sourceless sound.