To present and seamlessly blend installations by twenty-one international artists is a challenge which Strange Days: Memories of the Future has accomplished in an elegant manner and in a way that inspires — while making you feel as comfortable as you can get in a gallery full of strangers. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and co-presented by The Store X, The New Museum and The Vinyl Factory, the exhibition presents works that merge visuals and sound into surreal compositions. It’s like a trip down memory lane but surrounded by a dystopian array of futuristic characters and digital artifacts.
Figures 1 & 2. 180 The Strand’s facade and gallery indoor curtains.
Below I will list some of the most fascinating works — the ones that left me bittersweet feelings yet made me eager to go home and research about the artist.
Kahil Joseph’s Fly Paper (2017) is both an intimate journey through the artist’s relationship with New York and its black community and a dream-like sequence of “impressionistic quality” (Bell, 2018). In the soundtrack to this film, Joseph merges recordings of Harlem streets with phone calls, glitches, body sounds, and powerful moments of silence.
Figure 3. Installation view of The Looks, Wu Tsang, 2015.
The Looks (2015) is a performance slash video installation by Wu Tsang exploring how social media platforms influence the subjectivity of the future. The artist plays on themes of fluid identity, glitch, and public image. Tsang’s both grotesque and surreal character is covered in glitter and seen dancing and singing on stage — building up to an uncanny climax.
Figure 4. Installation view of Untitled, Oliver Laric, 2014-15.
Oliver Laric’s Untitled (2014-15) explores the presence and use of images, especially animated characters, in modern society. Redeveloping a collection of clips from animated films, Loric features characters morphing into new forms and sets these to a white background. The brightness draws the audience into the work and influences the exhibition design: a double-projection “floating” in the middle of a corridor painted white.
Where: The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
When: 2nd October – 9th December
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Natalie Bell, Dana Kopel, Rachel Wetzler et. all, 2018. Strange Days: Memories of the Fure leaflet.