Chisenhale Gallery commissioned Bonnie Camplin to produce a unique performance event taking its cue from the Victorian Industrial Age building the gallery occupies and drawing on Camplin’s interest in economy, ecology and survival. Navigating themes such as ‘ancient’ and ‘current’ sunlight, post-apocalyptic rupture and the potential for nonverbal communication, When the Wind Blows Up You unfolded as ‘a corporeal group meditation on energy, fear and love’ (Bonnie Camplin).
Transforming the gallery into an immersive, multi-sensory environment, Camplin used the motif of electric light as a ‘metaphor for energy expressed at the glitter of society’s putrescence’. For Camplin the gallery’s building is a referent to a time when the rupture between man and nature began, and signals the beginning of an age of industrialisation and its consequences. Developing ideas Camplin explored in past experimental club nights such as HARDERFASTERLOUDER and later in performances such as After the Powercut (2004) in which she conjured images of a post-apocalyptic – but specifically ‘post-lingual’ – society, When the Wind Blows Up You envisaged the projected remnants of such a post-apocalytic society reduced to its most elemental states: energy and light.
Camplin is a London-based artist whose drawings, watercolours, films and performances reveal her preoccupation with rituals, social traditions and the detritus of popular culture. Recent solo exhibitions include Tate Britain’s Lightbox and Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender, Berlin. She regularly collaborates with artist Paulina Olowska and recent projects include 'Usher We (Down There)', Tate Modern, London; the 2nd Turin Triennial (both 2008); and 'Salty Water/What Of Salty Water', Portikus, Frankfurt (2007). Camplin currently teaches at Frankfurt’s Städelschule and was a member of the group Donateller with Mark Leckey and Ed Laliq.
On the request of the artist no photographic documentation of this event was produced.