Ed Fornieles: Modern Family

Art, Installation Free
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Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
1/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
2/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
3/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
4/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
5/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
6/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Ed Fornieles ('Modern Family', exhibition view)
7/7
'Modern Family', exhibition view

Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Courtesy of Carlos/ Ishikawa, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

The British artist brings the virtual world of designed living and status sharing into the gallery in an immersive installation of sculpture and performance

The nimble-footed idiom of post-internet art has dodged clear definition since its conception. The most that can be agreed on the subject is that it refers to art made in a society so drastically changed by the worldwide web’s insatiable proliferation, that the influence of networked culture is omnipresent. In his exhibition ‘Modern Family’, Ed Fornieles explores the effects of the information age on that most ancient of sociological institutions: the family. The installation, comprising a chaotic and sprawling array of objects, structures, monitors and cabling, is instantly evocative of a disorientating, labyrinth, a website made physical.

Precariously compiled sculptures incorporating domestic materials are punctuated by televisions playing live-feed slideshows of imagery algorithmically aggregated by specially coded software. You can pick your way through various household sets: a social space made of plywood and cushions, a picnic table covered in debris, a barbecue on an artificial lawn. A bed. A hot tub. All are open to exploration, except the hot tub – which is lavishly occupied by a very relaxed gathering of coloured, steel sculptures.

Music, also algorithmically selected, plays loudly throughout the space. One minute you’re looking at synthetic human limbs extruding from the barbecue while sultry French music massages your ears and pornographic, twerking gifs assault your eyes. The next you’re lying awkwardly on the bed watching pictures of fruit juice while upbeat house music fills the gallery.

‘Modern Family’ hits refresh on outdated notions of ‘the American dream’ (Fornieles divides his time between London and Los Angeles) and the result is an environment not so much of art objects, but instead of content. The content, again generated by algorithms from the internet, playfully walks you through subjects as disparate as anorexia, vegetables and children holding hands. This showreel is empowering in its nod to a global, collective consciousness. Equally, though, it is somewhat depressing in its reduction of cultural achievements and insecurities to a series of search terms.

Nick Warner

 

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