Jan Ijäs's Two Islands featured in Lincoln

  • Jan Ijäs Two Islands (production still) (2012) HD Video, with sound, 5:58 mins Courtesy the artist

    The World is Almost Six Thousand Years Old is an exhibition that brings together objects from the County of Lincolnshire's archaeological holdings with works by over twenty emerging and established contemporary artists. Taking its title from a description of the age of the Earth found in William Shakespeare's As You Like It, the show extends across five venues in the city of Lincoln, a site of human habitation since the Paleolithic era. At its centre is a critical awareness of the mutability of the material record, of how objects may be mobilized to speak of multiple histories, both credible and fabulous. The exhibition is curated by Tom Morton (Contributing Editor, Frieze magazine, and Co-Curator of British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet).

    One of the central venues of the show, the Collection Museum, features a film by Finnish media artist Jan Ijäs. Two islands is a film about two enormous waste dumps in NYC – Staten Island and Hart Island – and explores the notion of the contemporary landfill as an archeological deposit. It bluntly asks: "What does the existence of these two huge mountains of economic and social waste and rejected surplus tell about our civilization and about the ‘richest nation in the world', and what kind of legacy will the archaeologists see in them when they are studying these a few centuries from now?"

    Other highlights at this venue include a newly commissioned work by Edwin Burdis for the Collection Museum's sound wall, and sculptural works from the Arts Council Collection by Martin Boyce and Sarah Lucas that speak of disinterred histories and recovered pasts.

    Film-maker Jan Ijäs is an artist of lens-based art, both still and moving. His work often deals with difficult social themes and tends to break the traditional boundaries between fictive and documentary films. Ijäs's films have been shown widely at international movie festivals and art museums around the world.

    The World is Almost Six Thousand Years Old: Art and Archaeology from the Iron Age to the Present

    2.2.–8.5.2013, Lincoln

    Venues: The Collection, The Usher Gallery, Lincoln School of Art & Design, The Greyfriars Building, Lincoln Cathedral

    Artists: Rupert Ackroyd, Charles Avery, Anna Barriball, Martin Boyce, Edwin Burdis, Anthony Caro, Gillian Carnegie, Dan Coopey, Keith Coventry, Matthew Darbyshire, Nicolas Deshayes, Jacob Dwyer, Jess Flood-Paddock, Roger Hiorns, Jan Ijäs, Sarah Lucas, Jeremy Millar, Adrien Missika, David Musgrave, Karen Russo, Alexander Tovborg