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Force of Fantasy

About the Exhibition

About the Exhibition

Fantasy is instrumental in (re)thinking what could be. The Force of Fantasy invites you to imagine what possibilities might lie in the not so distant future; by tilting realism sideways or exploring imaginative worlds, the artworks selected aim to make you question our world’s infrastructure. What could be if we imagine alternative possibilities to the social order? Can myth become reality? If so, treat these works as portals to better understand our world, and in doing so, allow them to transport us to more equitable lands. Each artist’s perspective is unique and selected by how they relate to the arguments made by Judith Butler in the essay that inspired this exhibition (attached below).

"the real is positioned both before and after its representation: and representation becomes a moment of the reproduction and consolidation of the real […] the phantasmatic is also precisely that which haunts and contests the borders which circumscribe the construction of stable identities" - Judith Butler

Mitchell Moreno’s Pandemaniac offers exactly that: surreal, performative and fantastical self-portraits to elicit a more authentic experience of life during lockdown than what ‘representational realism’ could ever do, as Butler calls it.

“Moreno’s phantasmic portraits haunt us to ‘contest the borders which circumscribe the construction of stable identities” (Judith Butler). This series lives within a visual language that explores the complexities of one’s self identity, akin to the works of Zanele Muholi, Leigh Bowery and Jimmy DeSana.” - Ricardo Reveron Blanco

Sam Moreno Alamein’s collage series is an amalgamation of distorted realities put together to vividly contrast the socio-political structures that make up the world.

Noraa James’ afrofuturist triptych portrays moments of intimacy and interconnectedness - a togetherness catalyzed by personal longing - something strangely unfamiliar in the current social climate.

In The Couple, Gil Mualem-Doron photographically documents the liminal space the subjects are placed in, a situation that sits between fantasy and reality, truth and farce.

Cedar Lewisohn’s series takes inspiration from German Expressionism and aptly merges it with African diasporic imagery, using provenance as a way to reimagine a neglected visual canon by looking at Westernised art histories.

Whilst Phoebe Boswell looks back at Shakespeare’s Othello, exploring its racial themes in a historical and contemporary setting - drawing parallels between the reality of immigration and blackness in the UK today, Blast Theory’s 2097: We Made Ourselves Over, projects us into the future by commanding us to step into action and think about the consequences of our choices.

These perspectives are not exhaustive, yet they relay the myriad of opportunities for using fantasy as a means to question our conventional modes of living, thinking and conforming. The Force of Fantasy invites us to fathom alternative possibilities for the future and propels us into thinking about what aspects of today could be reimagined into more equitable resolutions.

Butler The-Force-of-Fantasy-Feminism-Map
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