For the artists, who have worked collaboratively since 1978, architectural structures bear witness to the political, cultural and economic events that have shaped our world. The very survival of these structures serves as moments of truth for times that have since come and gone.
Throughout their four-decade career Langlands & Bell have consistently revealed both the beauty and violence behind some of the world’s most historically challenging structures. This includes their Turner Prize- shortlisted interactive work The House of Osama bin Laden that was commissioned in 2002 by London’s Imperial War Museum to document and investigate postwar Afghanistan as part of the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and saw the artists venture inside the former home of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
As the artists continually demonstrate, the historical monuments of our past act as reminders of periods of history that have had an immense and undeniable effect on the realities that shape our present world. For their most recent exhibition, The Past is Never Dead, which was postponed several times during the pandemic, the artists present a series of video, sculpture and appliqué works inspired by the forbidding structures of Ghana’s many slave forts.