100 Years On, Artists Commemorate World War I

See new works devoted to the Great War.

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Carlos Cruz-Diez, Dazzle Ship Liverpool, 2014 Photo: Helen Hunt
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Tobias Rehberger and Carlos Cruz-Diez have adorned vessels in London and Liverpool with their take on dazzle camouflage, used extensively on British warships during WWI. Tobias Rehberger, Dazzle Ship, 2014 Photo: Stephen White
Tobias Rehberger and Carlos Cruz-Diez have adorned vessels in London and Liverpool with their take on dazzle camouflage, used extensively on British warships during Wolrd War I. Photo: Stephen White
Tobias Rehberger, Dazzle Ship, 2014 Photo: David Kew
Tobias Rehberger, Dazzle Ship (2014), Photo: David Kew
Carlos Cruz-Diez, Dazzle Ship Liverpool, 2014 Photo: Helen Hunt
Carlos Cruz-Diez, Dazzle Ship Liverpool (2014), Photo: Helen Hunt
Jeremy Deller, Lights Out, 2014 From August 1, Jeremy Deller will release a new film every day, viewable only via an app. The final film will be released on August 4 at 10pm, and will be available until 11pm, when the entire series will disappear.
Jeremy Deller, Lights Out (2014). From August 1, Jeremy Deller will release a new film every day, viewable only via an app. The final film will be released on August 4 at 10pm, and will be available until 11pm, when the entire series will disappear.
On August 4, Bob and Roberta Smith will spell out this statement on the East Lawn of the City Hall grounds in Belfast with letters made by members of local communities, and lit with candles.
On August 4, Bob and Roberta Smith will spell out this statement on the East Lawn of the City Hall grounds in Belfast with letters made by members of local communities, and lit with candles.
Nalini Malani, In Search of Vanished Blood, 2014 Malani will transform the facade of the Scottish National Gallery with a film piece splicing images of war, old and new.
Nalini Malani, In Search of Vanished Blood (2014). Malani will transform the facade of the Scottish National Gallery with a film piece splicing images of war, old and new.
Anya Gallaccio, Untitled landscapes, 2014. Photol Owain Thomas, courtesy SNAP Art at the Aldeburgh Festival A photographic installation inspired by the landscape above which the RAF conducted early experiments in flight.
Anya Gallaccio, Untitled landscapes (2014), Photo: Owain Thomas, courtesy SNAP Art at the Aldeburgh Festival A photographic installation inspired by the landscape above which the RAF conducted early experiments in flight.
Tony Heaton, Breathe Nothing of Slaughter, 2014 A short film contrasting the idealized bodies of memorials to the painful reality of suffering war victims and veterans.
Tony Heaton, Breathe Nothing of Slaughter (2014). A short film contrasting the idealized bodies of memorials to the painful reality of suffering war victims and veterans.
Bedwyr Williams, Traw, 2014 By permission of the National Library of Wales Williams assembles images of Welsh soldiers and civilian personnel, rid of all information alluding to rank or class. The piece will be presented at the site of the North Wales Memorial Arch, Bangor.
Bedwyr Williams, Traw (2014). By permission of the National Library of Wales Williams assembles images of Welsh soldiers and civilian personnel, rid of all information alluding to rank or class. The piece will be presented at the site of the North Wales Memorial Arch, Bangor.
Richard Wentworth, When You Look You May Not See, 2014 Wentworth has designed a poster for the London underground, featuring a letter sent by a soldier to his wife. The intimate note is printed in reverse and can only be read with the help of a mirror.
Richard Wentworth, When You Look You May Not See (2014). Wentworth has designed a poster for the London underground, featuring a letter sent by a soldier to his wife. The intimate note is printed in reverse and can only be read with the help of a mirror.

On August 4 1914 Britain declared war on Germany­­. “The lamps are going out all over Europe,” said foreign secretary Edward Grey, “we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

Exactly 100 years later, next Monday will mark a high point in the ongoing World War I centenary celebrations, and artists of all stripes have been invited to join in. Coordinated by 14-18 Now—a program spanning the UK and operating under the umbrella of the Imperial War Museums—numerous new pieces are being presented up and down the country.

Jeremy Deller has released an app showcasing a new film every day from August 1 to August 4; Nalini Malini and Bedwyr Williams have turned to film collages to reflect on the reality of war, past and present; Bob and Roberta Smith worked with communities in Belfast to create a large-scale candle-lit installation spelling out: “What unites human beings, ears, eyes, loves, hopes and toes is huge and wonderful. What divides human beings is small and mean.”

These are only four of a slew of projects, which also include dazzle ships in London and Liverpool by Tobias Rehberger and Carlos Cruz-Diez, artist films by the likes of Claire Cunningham and Tony Heaton, aerial photographs by Anya Gallaccio, and a soldier’s letter reproduced on London underground posters, courtesy of Richard Wentworth.

To commemorate the declaration of war, people are also invited to turn off their lights from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Monday, keeping just a single light or a candle to remember the many lives that were lost during the global conflict.


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