Matthew Buckingham's new film and video works re-imagine the lives of pioneering figures. Mary Wollstonecraft appears as a ghost whose legacy is unsettled. Objects within the gallery space bring you closer to the action and her responses to the 21st-century.
Matthew Buckingham's re-investigation of history addresses present-day realities such as the impact of globalisation and colonialism. The Spirit and the Letter portrays 18th-century writer and social reformer Mary Wollstonecraft, using her own words and work so that she appears to reflect on past conditions from the 21st-century. It encourages us to consider what elements and social dynamics have changed and the way in which her legacy has and continues to be contested.
Everything I Need imagines the thoughts of psychologist and radical feminist Charlotte Wolff on her return to Germany following exile in the 1930s. In False Future, Buckingham re-stages a film by Louis Le Prince, an early pioneer of cinematography. A site specific installation Specularia engages with the history of Camden Arts Centre - its architecture and changing function throughout time.
The exhibition is curated by Mark Godfrey and organised in collaboration with Dundee Contemporary Arts; Des Moines Art Center; Frac Bourgogne, Dijon and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle.
The Spirit and the Letter is co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Camden Arts Centre in association with the above venues.