Langlands & Bell (Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell)

Great Mosque, Samarra, Iraq

1996

Medium
Blind embossed print on paper
Dimensions
Image: 760 x 720 mm
frame: 865 x 825 x 37 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1997
Reference
P78030

Display caption

'We shape our buildings, and thereafter they shape us,' say Langlands & Bell, a couple who work together, making art that explores the impact of architectural structures upon human behaviour. In their series Enclosure and Identity, the artists examine institutional and potentially oppressive buildings, such as prisons, churches and mosques.

Each sheet has been embossed with the ground plan of a famous mosque, giving the images a three-dimensional, almost sculptural quality. The artists focus on the geometry of the religious building, which they see as 'a structure where the spiritual dimensions of a community take physical form'. These prints were acquired on the occasion of their 1997 exhibition at London's Serpentine Gallery, which brought the artists to international attention.

Gallery label, August 2004

Technique and condition

From a Portfolio of ten blind embossed prints, made from ten zinc lineblock plates created from drawings by Langlands and Bell. Editioned at hope Sufferance Press, London. The prints were presented within a solander box with title page and colophon. Each print is individually titled.

Calvin Winner
February 1998