DENISE BRYAN and ADRIAN WILKINS - ...and the time is now

Denise Bryan and Adrian Wilkins’ installation at The Oriental Museum uses second hand TVs and pre-recorded megaphones shipped in from China to present sounds and images collected during a 15 month long journey along the Silk Road, exploring issues of colonialism, communism, and travel.

During their trip, members of the public were invited to log on to their website and request items for the artists to add to their on-line “Cabinet of Curiosities” – a 21st century take on the private collections made by wealthy colonial travellers in 17th and 18th century. People they met along the way were also invited to contribute sounds and sights that they would like to share with “the rest of the world”.

Bryan and Wilkins have chosen to site this work in The Oriental Museum, where they hope to instigate a critical discourse around their work and the historic objects in the collection. This is a new venture for the museum, more used to showing contemporary painting and prints by Asian artists. Bryan explains, “On a visit to a market in Hotan, Western China, we chanced on a darkened corner, where second hand TVs were being sold; all on and all showing different stations. It is through the medium of television, people in the countries of the “Orient” are bombarded with images of “The West”. In this installation we wanted to turn the tables and use TV screens to give a view of contemporary life in the “East”. All the televisions in the installation have been donated or come from Freecycle, reflecting the culture of recycling that is prevalent in communities less wealthy than our own”.

Who: Denise Bryan and Adrian Wilkins
What: ...and the time is now (exhibition)
Where: The Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH
When: 20 Jan – 25 Mar 2007, 10 – 5pm weekdays, 12-5pm weekends
Contact: The Oriental Museum: 0191 3345694, the artists: silkthreads@btinternet