Mirrorcity

Art
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

London’s most inspirational and significant artists explore how digital existence informs daily experiences.

City living might not always be easy but it’s certainly exhilarating. So how do you respond to London, a city that has it all? With fragmented, amplified, high-tech, illusionistic, psychedelic and sometimes cynical work by 23 artists who share a love of the city, that’s how.

Once you enter the gallery you cross a new threshold, into a terrain where reality blurs with fantasy. Lindsay Seers’s ‘Nowhere Less Now’ is a video that blends her seafaring heritage with the narrative of a fictional seaman. Screened inside the hull of an enormous upturned replica ship, it sets the tone for an experiential, sometimes disorientating journey through a land of make-believe.

Elsewhere, you’re invited to navigate Laure Prouvost’s ‘The Artist’. The French-born Londoner won last year’s Turner Prize for this makeshift cluttered studio space. Signs tell us ‘Don’t Look Up’ or ‘Keep Left’ but the incongruous instructions only add to the sense of discombobulation.

This chaotic snapshot of an artist’s working environment is juxtaposed by Anne Hardy’s creepy interior hidden within a blank wooden container. Here, Hardy makes her imagined and detailed fabricated photographic spaces (which you can see out on the terraces) a reality. Even though you’re doubtful of the authenticity, you’re transported to a realm of uncanny familiarity.

Flyposted in a stairwell are Tim Etchells’s posters ‘Vacuum Days’, in which the artist has scrambled news alerts and headlines to create fictional propositions (such as ‘Delirium Tremens Orchestra Play New Songs by Silvio Berlusconi and Dmitry Medvedev’). At the top of the stairs, his ‘City Changes’ series of prints describe a metropolis in a constant state of flux.

Seemingly chance encounters are provided by a series of performances in the galleries, including Volumes Project’s dance-based exploration of our physical relationship with space, Lloyd Corporation’s living statues which pop up all around the Southbank Centre.

Their observations of, and inquisitiveness about, the collective versus the individual, the real versus the virtual, and fiction versus fact is what makes these artists so dynamic. London, the most dynamic place on earth for contemporary art, unites them.

Freire Barnes

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