Hercules Missile (landscape) (2010) by Mariele Neudecker. Image courtesy of Galerie Barbara Thumm and the artist.
Hercules Missile (landscape) (2010) by Mariele Neudecker. Image courtesy of Galerie Barbara Thumm and the artist.


4 - 27 May 2013


Lighthouse is delighted to be part of Brighton Festival 2013, guest directed by Michael Rosen. We are presenting two projects that illustrate how contemporary military technology both enables acts of disappearance, and also conceals the machinations of war from us.

Drone Shadow (2012) by James Bridle. Image courtesy of the artist.
Drone Shadow (2012) by James Bridle. Image courtesy of the artist.

Under the Shadow of the Drone by James Bridle is a site-specific outdoor work. It is a one-to-one rendering of a military drone aircraft, as used by the US and UK military above battlefields around the world. The unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, has become one of the most potent weapons of contemporary warfare. Remotely controlled by operators thousands of miles away, drones carry out aerial attacks which leave hundreds of people dead. They are one of the most controversial weapons of war, and Under the Shadow of the Drone makes them visible on our streets. The stark marking out in an unexpected public space of a drone’s silhouette forces us to consider the implications of a drone attack on our own community. The work critiques the way that contemporary networked technologies, while enabling the digitally saturated culture of the 21st Century, can also obscure and distance us from political and moral responsibility.

Mariele Neudecker explores the disturbing, and often invisible, technologies of war in an exhibition that contrasts dramatically with her more familiar depictions of landscape and the sublimity of nature. The startling images in The Air Itself is One Vast Library were created following extensive research at military installations. Her work makes technologies that are intended to be camouflaged, and out of view, starkly visible. Weapons which are otherwise abstract and monstrous, become tactile and present. We are challenged to confront what we think we know of warfare, by what we can see and experience in front of us.

These works continue Lighthouse’s curatorial investigations into the invisible infrastructures that make up our world.

This began in 2011 with the exhibition, Invisible Fields, which revealed the radio spectrum – the invisible environment that enables contemporary technologies of information and communication. Involving artists, designers and scientists such as Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Timo Arnall and Joyce Hinterding, Invisible Fields set out the spectrum as a physical space, invisible but present, a terrain that can be studied, mapped, surveyed and explored.

This investigation continued in 2012 with Geographies of Seeing, a solo show by artist, Trevor Paglen. The exhibition presented two bodies of work, The Other Night Sky and Limit Telephotography, which utilise the technologies and techniques of astronomical photography to uncover the clandestine activities of the US government.

Our two new projects for Brighton Festival 2013, deepen this curatorial analysis, by examining the ulterior technologies of contemporary warfare, which are deliberately kept from public view, and have the effect of disconnecting us from the ethical implications of military conflict. James Bridle and Mariele Neudecker are continuing the long tradition of artists bearing witness to events that governments would prefer we did not see. As Greer Crowley (2013) has written: “military artifice and illusion can distance us from the realities of the war on the ground; the ground truth. Art however can restore reception and observation by making us reflect on the limitations of our knowledge and understanding.”

Following the openings of their shows, both Mariele Neudecker & James Bridle will be giving talks at Lighthouse:

On 8 May, Neudecker will talk about challenging conventional ways of seeing & the dichotomy between nature & culture.

On 9 May, Bridle will examine of the idea of drones, and the physical, virtual, and mental spaces they occupy.

For details about each project

Under the Shadow of the Drone by James Bridle
Date: 4 – 27 May 2013
Location: 5 minutes/500 metres walk east from The Brighton Wheel on Marine Parade, towards Yellowave Beach Sports Venue. And then look down to Madeira Drive.
Longitude/latitude of the Drone site: 50.818463, -0.12926

The Air Itself is One Vast Library by Mariele Neudecker
Date: 4 May – 1 June 2013
Location: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, BN1 4AJ

Artist Talks

Mariele Neudecker – May Monthly Talk
Date: Wednesday, 8 May 2013 6pm
Location: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, BN1 4AJ

James Bridle – Meet the Artist
Date: Thursday 9 May 2013 6pm
Location: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, BN1 4AJ

Curated by Lighthouse, in partnership with Brighton Festival and HOUSE. With support from Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.




Sign up to our mailing list to receive regular email updates on exhibitions, events and other news.