This February we are delighted to premiere a brand-new film by artist Sam Laughlin. Falling wall, rising dust was especially commissioned in 2019 to document the closing chapter of John Hansard Gallery’s former home on the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus (1979–2018).
From the outset, the tone and pace of the film is one of suspense and anticipation. Shot in slow-motion on a high-speed camera, Falling wall, rising dust records the impact of the demolition excavator as it knocks and tears at the building’s façade, exposing its very infrastructure.
Falling wall, rising dust follows Sam Laughlin’s previous John Hansard Gallery commission, Constructions (2018). Using photographic stills, Laughlin was invited to capture the development of our new home in Guildhall Square during its construction. Laughlin recorded temporary situations onsite, some incidental, others he arranged himself as interventions, with both works focusing on the make-up of a building in opposing ways, questioning the nature of the built space.