Graduate Summer Show 2014 at the RCA Battersea
Showcasing the best talent from their best students, the graduation show at the Royal College of Arts is an exciting event. In every form you care to mention from film to sculpture, all of it was a viewing of the apex of inspiration that had transpired into fine art. Across two buildings – one named Pain the other Pure – fresh talent spread itself in every way imaginable. Danny Augustine’s electro-pop art collages of sex dolls and bestiality are an homage to psychosis, making us question the allure of insanity and provoking somewhat uncomfortable reactions from the crowd.
Moving on from the provocative to the mysterious, James Ng incorporates a sense of magical surrealism into his paintings. Carbonara and his self portrait – which looks more like a deconstructed orange – blends the styles of Picasso and Dalí’s abstraction, using predominantly oils on canvas. The sinister side of the technology-dominated world we live in is eerily captured in Affinit, a short film by Neža Agnes Momirski. Two robotic salesmen seem entirely addicted to glass spheres that reminds one of the all too common sight of people’s gazes stuck on their smartphones. In this dystopian society in which it seems that an addiction to photos and increasing narcissism leads to dire consequences, it confronts us with not only the future of technology but also our present society permeated by social networks and selfies.
Technology aside, what could be more á la mode than republicanism. Perhaps the most enjoyable – and certainly the most amusing – moment of the show was being approached by an artist with a contract stating “I do not recognise the authority that is given to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors in the Oath of Allegiance.” The signing of this contract at a table, complete with a slightly astray-looking solicitor, followed by the mailing of the contract to your home address completed the piece, leaving one to ponder the perennial question: what is art?
RCA Graduate Summer Show 2014 is at the Royal College of Art until 29th June 2014. For further information and listings of graduates visit the gallery’s website here.
Read our review of the RCA Graduate Summer Show 2014 of the Schools of Architecture, Communication and Design at the Kensington site here.