The Hayward Gallery has unveiled an exhibition at the Southbank Centre that seeks to “address the challenges, conditions and consequences of living in our digital age”.
Mirrorcity explores the effects of the digital age on 21st-century life, while also looking “directly, or indirectly at the multi-faced nature of London itself.”
The work featured tries to explore how we can navigate the space between the digital and the physical and what the effect of advanced technologies have on our lives.
When you walk into the exhibition, you are immediately presented with an overturned warship, the inside of which is Lindsay Seers’ Nowhere Less Now. This is the ‘wow’ piece.
It’s a mini-cinema with two oval screens that are supposed to be eyes; one in the shape of a globe, with a flatter screen mirrored behind it, representing the ‘mirrorcity’ theme.
The piece involves listening to a stream of consciousness through headphones, with statements such as: “the past is not static,” and “DNA contains memory,” while watching images of war, people and the ocean. You can walk in at any point, so there’s no real beginning or end.
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Some interesting pieces tie in directly with the theme of the exhibition. Tim Etchells’ Vacuum Days is a set of imaginary events in the form of headlines that distort and respond to real events.
Emma Mcnally’s graphite Abstract Map Drawings look like maps and grids which could be seen to reflect the chaos of 21st-century life in London.
Overall, a different and thought-provoking exhibition, but the themes, which were so central to London and capitalism, weren’t explored as well as they could’ve been.
It is meant to be a collection of work by some of London’s acknowledged and up-and-coming artists, but the exhibition makes you wonder if this is really all that London’s art scene has to offer.
Featured photo by Mariah Miranda