Chisenhale Gallery premieres a new film and installation by Anja Kirschner and David Panos co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and CCA, Glasgow. Kirschner and Panos are emerging London-based artists who collaborate on narrative films that combine historical material and contemporary issues. The Last Days of Jack Sheppard (2009) is based on the inferred prison encounters between the 18th Century criminal Jack Sheppard and Daniel Defoe, the ghost-writer of his ‘autobiography’ set in the wake of the South Sea Bubble of 1720, Britain’s first financial crisis. A critical costume drama constructed from a patchwork of historical, literary, and popular sources, the film looks at the impact of speculation on culture and the connections between representation and commerce.
This will be Kirschner and Panos’ first solo exhibition in a public space in the UK and is the first commission in the new exhibition and event programme by Chisenhale Gallery’s recently appointed director Polly Staple.
Anja Kirschner (b.1977, Munich) and David Panos (b.1971, Athens) live and work in London. Their recent film, Trail of the Spider (53mins, UK, 2008), a ‘western’ filmed in Hackney and Essex premiered at Tate Modern, followed by a week-long show as part of ‘Nought to Sixty’ at the ICA and a LUX screening at Chat’s Palace in Hackney. Previously Polly II – Plan for a Revolution in Docklands (30mins, UK, 2006), a dystopian pirate adventure, described in Sight & Sound as a ‘ragged, overreaching adaptation of John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera [that] comes on like a cine mash-up of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee and J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World’ has been screened widely both in the UK and abroad. Venues included Tate Modern, BFI Southbank, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, NAi, Netherlands and the Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany.