The participating artists would probably not claim to be political in any overt way, at least in their work, but all look at
the psyche of the body politic and reveal traces of disquiet and concern through an interest in, or reference to,
technology. Rather like the little girl in the film ‘Poltergeist’, they discern the faint echoes of failed past utopias
through the conduit of a technological notion of ‘progress’.
These artists, who know better than to shout, are interested in these echoes, and it is this that the exhibition seeks to
evoke. There is a real sense of loss here, even when some of the work plays with optimism, or strikes a mischievous
tone. Like Walter Benjamin’s angel, they look to the future by facing the past, witnessing, “the storm we call
The exhibition’s title is taken from Terry Eagleton’s book After Theory in which he states in the eponymous first
chapter: “There can be no falling back on ideas of collectivity which belong to a world unraveling before our eyes”.
Our need to want to fashion our future to our own desires, fills us with both optimism and dread. As our hi-tech future
promises us infinite possibilities, it leaves a gap filled with impending disappointment. It is a disappointment through
our sense of separation that is loaded with atomised pathos. It is to this gap that these artists look, where memories
appear flattened and shorter, as we are distracted by the heat of the present. This sense of amnesia, induced by the
seduction of technology, becomes the consequent politics of memory.
Art has historically always engaged with technology, from the camera obscura in the 18th century, to virtual art now.
However, it is not the technology itself that is necessarily interesting, but how it adds to the existing language of art,
and offers it new meanings. Unlike Science Fiction, which creates its own language of myths but acts as an allegory,
here the myths are already embedded, and the allegory but a memory, a faint pulse. The human is all but absent in
much of the work, but its voice is all the louder because of it.
Fieldgate Gallery, 2012.
Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.
|13 Jun - 15 Jul 2012
A group exhibition curated by Fieldgate Gallery that looks at past trauma through the conduit of technology.
13 June – 15 July 2012, Wednesday – Sunday from 12 – 6pm.
Preview: Sunday, 10 June from 3 – 5pm.