reviews

Willie Doherty, No Return, 2017, video projection, color, sound, 15 minutes.

Willie Doherty

Alexander and Bonin

Willie Doherty, No Return, 2017, video projection, color, sound, 15 minutes.

Once home to twenty thousand people, the town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, now houses around two thousand, having lost 90 percent of its population through the withering of the steel industry. That means empty houses and streets—the visual substance of Willie Doherty’s No Return, which he made for a show of work by Northern Irish artists at the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, very near Braddock, in the spring and summer of 2017. Alongside its succession of images, this fifteen-minute video has an aural component: Doherty combines his pictures of the town with a voice-over narrative, an image-and-text combination familiar from a number of his earlier works. In its tale of pollution and threat, No Return particularly reminds me of Secretion, 2012, which imagined the gradual spread of a mysterious epidemic. This time around, instead of devising a complex shoot using a crew, Doherty

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