Belated Again

Millar was invited to participate in the group exhibition ‘Mythographies’ at Yaffo23, a large-scale gallery in Jerusalem run by the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The exhibition explored how myth can become embedded in particular locations and included artists Francis Alÿs and Karen Russo. Millar also spoke at a related day-long symposium alongside curator Doreet LeVitte-Harten. Millar contributed to a related symposium and publication at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 2013.

For ‘Mythographies’, Millar created a new video, Belated, Again, which considered the historic creation of sacred space, and its subsequent re-creation elsewhere. Its subject was Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre and its use as a model for later European medieval churches. The film was shot at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton, the Warburg Institute, London, and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, where Millar filmed conservators dismantling a 17th-century model of the Jerusalem church (removed from public display for this purpose).

In developing this work, Millar worked with art historians at the Warburg Institute, the Ashmolean, and University of Glasgow to research the film’s script. This wove together numerous themes, including the biography of Aby Warburg, the Crusades and other forms of religious persecution, and the space represented in the gold ground of early Renaissance panel paintings. The script was narrated by the acclaimed actor Simon Paisley Day.

‘Belated, Again’ belongs to a series exploring the contested nature of sacred space. Millar’s research in Jerusalem (including a filmic exploration of the spatial organisation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 2013) extends to the wider context of Israel and Palestine. Disputes within the church, and the imposition of a divisive status quo, can be seen as a symbolic of larger political problems within the region.