Charles Stankievech, still from The Second Coming, 2015/2022. Video, 19:00. Courtesy the artist. Collection The Vega Foundation.

Shot on either side of the English Channel and across four countries, The Second Coming documents both First and Second World War military outposts. The final footage has been edited into a post-apocalyptic science fiction film, where WWII bunkers have become crashed spaceships and WWI acoustic architecture has been repurposed as an intergalactic communication system. Working from the premise established by A.E van Vogt’s 1939 science fiction short story “Black Destroyer” (the first science fiction story of its kind to postulate the crisis of the doubled colonizer), The Second Coming provides a timeless critique of first contact—a misnomer always already in trouble.

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