Dominic Hawgood: ‘Casting Out the Self v3.1’ review

Art, Contemporary art Free
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Dominic Hawgood: ‘Casting Out the Self v3.1’ review

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Parents never let you get close to the TV, but Dominic Hawgood insists on it. He wants you to get nose-to-pixel, eye-to-static and skin-to-screen.

It’s an exercise in psychedelic meditation. Three screens flicker in the basement of the English artist’s installation, strobing between eye-searing bright white and abyssal black in rapid stutters. Perch on a stool, close your eyes and press yourself against the screen; the monochrome flickers get filtered through your eyelids, pulsing in the reds of blood vessels and the greens of veins. Throb, throb, throb, a psychedelic micro-trip starts dancing its way across your field of vision. It’s getting high without drugs, meditating without trying.

In the other space, a reflective orb sits surrounded by blue neon lights in an eerily ceremonial installation. It’s like a ouija board for a digital Wiccan, a place for some ultra-powerful AI to commune with the ghosts of machines past.

Hawgood teeters somewhere at the edges between mysticism, digital imagery and photography. Trained as a photographer, he has created a whole show that’s like a photograph come to life, as if he’s saying ‘If people won’t look at my photograph, I’ll put them in the photograph, I’ll make them feel the thing I’m documenting.’ And you do feel it: you feel his obsession with transcendental meditation, with psychedelic exploration, with digital imagery. It’s all alive and affecting, right here in this Fitzrovia basement.

And there’s no one to tell you off for getting too close to the TV. That’s adulthood, that is. That’s freedom.

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