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Frozen Sky by Langlands and Bell

Frozen Sky by Langlands and Bell

© Langlands & Bell. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2021

Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme on behalf of Mead Gallery, University of Warwick with funds from the Arts Council Lottery, 2001

This work was first shown as part of a photomontage of Canary Wharf and Centrepoint in London, which were depicted with this circle projected onto the sides of the buildings.

The circle is made up of the three-letter codes used by airlines to represent departure points and destinations. Like much of Langlands and Bell's work, this piece is almost clinical in its neatness, detachment and lack of human emotion, emphasised by the stark palette of white neon light. The artists are preoccupied with connections, networks and webs that unite people around the world; the circle is therefore perhaps used as a symbol of unity. Some of Langlands and Bell's other works depict the flight plans of commercial airlines and architectural plans: the structures that make up human life, particularly with reference to travel and space, are exposed and examined.

The artists explore the necessity of travelling by 'predetermined routes in predetermined ways': considering the lights' organised movements and the rigidity of the circle, are they themselves trapped by these predetermined routes, or trying to liberate themselves from them?