No Trace of accelerator

Updated: Jul 11, 2018


by Emily Wardill

Cinematography by Mário Melo Costa








Emily Wardill’s work explores the opacity of communication and the way in which language, images and materials embody and transmit ideas and meaning. Through film, sound, sculpture and printmaking she emphasizes the irreducible strangeness of the world, encouraging and enabling states of fluidity, transition and transgression as language transforms into image or matter, and objects attain the lyrical and slippery cadence of speech.

"Matt Black and Rat" is Emily Wardill’s first solo exhibition in a public institution in Norway and her largest solo exhibition for some years. It includes two new film works, as well as a new series of sculptural reliefs and framed rayograms.

For this exhibition, Bergen Kunsthall (in association with the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon) has commissioned a new film, No Trace of Accelerator (2017), which takes as its starting point the mysterious incident of a series of apparently spontaneous fires that broke out in an isolated French town in the mid-1990s. The cause of the fires remained unexplained for some months, a period when all kinds of fear, panic and superstition gripped the small community. The fires were eventually explained, but the reaction of the towns-people became the subject of a case study into the social amplification of risk, written by anthropologists Marc Poumadere and Claire Mays.

Emily Wardill (b. 1977, UK) lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.