Project Overview

The first major film work by this inventive British duo, Childhood’s End is an elegant two-screen installation that continued the artists’ predilection for incisive, provocative interventions into social and institutional space. Contrasting a primordial, endearingly child-like delight in flight with the residual boy’s-own appeal of military heroism and authority, the piece follows an experienced fighter ace through a series of barrel-rolling manoeuvres, in which this scion of the military establishment (flying an equally iconic Hawker Siddeley jet) skywrites the figure of an anarchy symbol over the azure vistas of Middle England.

Placed within a miniature video monitor, the view from inside the cockpit is counterpointed by a large-screen projection showing the plane arcing and looping through the shimmer of its vapour trails. A Utopian flight-of-fancy, fuelled by the contrarian spirit of resistance, Childhood’s End is a celebration of the importance of play in the face of the self-denying imperatives of order, routine and discipline.

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