Ghosts: How We Live in the Future at the Fine Art Society
Addressing the extremely topical idea of failed modernism in London, six artists with varying practices are brought under the same roof to exhibit Ghosts: How We Live in the Future. The notion addressed is that much of London’s culture and history is being disrespected and destroyed due to development projects. It is appropriate, then, that this exhibition is held at The Fine Art Society in Mayfair, one of London’s oldest and best preserved art galleries.
We are hit with the reality of the situation before even entering the gallery, as the first thing seen in the window by the entrance is a battered black door. This door has been ripped out from 12 Bar Club in Soho by squatters protesting the closure of the club and demolition of the Grade II listed building. Some would consider the door itself a piece of artwork, as it is an obvious example of the detrimental effect attempted regeneration can have on a society.
Continuing inside, each artist uses their own approaches, including photography, painting, mixed media, sculpture and film, to express their attitudes to the problem. Stuart Semple’s large vivid canvases immediately capture our attention with an amalgamation of cut-outs of vintage images, modern photographs and eye-popping spray paint. In War in Babylon, Semple depicts a building being torn down, behind the words “love me til my heart stops”. A part of East London is also mapped out across the canvas.
Coincidentally, the film by Macay was shot at this exact location in East London. Macay is a Chilean artist who, in a similar way to Semple, uses found vintage images and photographs in imaginative ways. Surreal and colourful dreamscape pieces of art are created by this process, three boards of which are exhibited here. Her film Exploration Through Hackney documents Macay’s creative process, and we see her transform a derelict building. By decorating it with cut-outs of wildlife, animals and vibrant shapes, she brings the place to life.
Dereliction and neglect of areas in London are highlighted by Juliette Losq, Laura Oldfield Ford and Simon Terrill, while Thomas J Price focuses on everyday people in his bronze sculptures. The viewer is given something profound to consider by looking at each work of art in this exhibition, and London’s society is able to relate to these topical issues on an ever personal level.
Ghosts: How We Live in the Future is at The Fine Art Society until 10th April 2015, for further information visit here.