No Trace of Accelerator (2017), takes as its starting point the mysterious incident of a series of apparently spontaneous fires that broke out in an isolated French town in the mid-1990s. The cause of the fires remained unexplained for some months, a period when all kinds of fear, panic and superstition gripped the small community. The fires were eventually explained, but the reaction of the towns-people became the subject of a case study into the social amplification of risk, written by anthropologists Marc Poumadere and Claire Mays.
Drawing on her own research into the events—Wardill uses the figure of fire itself as a way to explore the physical, psychological and narrative implications of trying to "model" entities, energies or objects that are in constant flux. Filmed on a series of constructed, stylised sets with a cast of archetypal characters loosely based on the real protagonists, Wardill introduces the idea of fire as a chaotic and unpredictable object—a metaphor for various conditions of fear, instability, uncertainty, and horror.
Emily Wardill will join The Lab's Executive Director Dena Beard in conversation following the film.
Emily Wardill has had solo exhibitions The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2012); The Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2012); de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam (2012); The Contemporary Art Museum St Louis (2011) and ICA, London (2007–08). She participated in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and the 19th Sydney Bienalle (2014) and in group exhibitions at Hayward Gallery, London; Witte de With, Rotterdam; MUMOK Vienna; and MOCA, Miami. In 2010, Wardill was the recipient of the Jarman Award and in 2011 The Leverhulme Award. Her work is in international collections from Tate Britain to Mumok, Vienna. She is represented by Carlier Gebauer (Berlin), STANDARD(OSLO) and Altman Siegal (San Francisco). She works part time as a professor at Malmo Art Academy. Currently , Wardill has a solo show at Bergen Kunsthall which will tour to Gulbenkian project spaces this year.