…transgressions of the line between natural and non-; elements out-of-place; crossed borders and cultures, inappropriate intimacies.
– Horror in Architecture, Joshua Comaroff & Ong Ker-Shing
For Rose Easton’s inaugural show, the future isn’t what it used to be, Lotte Andersen and Jack Jubb bring together the sonic and the visual to probe the tension between fantasy and reality; sounding out ways of understanding the architecture of a space, of a body, of a politics, of a collective mindset.
The work of both artists finds its genesis in methodologies of archiving, gathering recordings and images from a variety of sources. For Andersen, her approach is that of the ‘crate digger,’ the archetypal record store bargain hunter, while key for Jubb is the search engine: the nexus that both flattens and levels the plane of all media. This is not a process of nostalgia but a point of enquiry into ideas surrounding memory and the spectres of both personal and collective histories.
Lotte Andersen’s newly conceived sound work, which lends its title to the exhibition, highlights the circularity and absurdity of history. Made in collaboration with the artist’s father, the future isn’t what it used to be weaves together audio clips from the 1970s and the last two years, drawing parallels between the socio-political environments of their respective youths in the UK. Throughout the work, the question remains “is this true, is this real?” A speech from Donald Trump’s 2020 election campaign is overlaid with Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination, but, the artist asks us, which is ‘real’ and which is not? The absurdity of recent politics can surely be read as an elaborate joke.
In a series of new paintings Jack Jubb merges images of interiors from Architectural Digest with creatures taken from science fiction to explore his interest in speculative universes as a kind of metaphysical lens; a device for looking at our own world. These images of idealised domesticity, so rooted in our contemporary consumer condition as signifiers of ‘good’ taste, are brought into a relationship with fantasy art which can often be seen as the antithesis. As such these paintings become insurgent, forcing the crass and the camp to engage with the austere and minimalist – a violation of good taste.
Jubb uses the aesthetic of the airbrush to investigate notions of the poor image. In her essay, “In Defense of the Poor Image” (2009), Hito Steyerl interrogated this ghost of an image, “itinerant …distributed for free, squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped and remixed.” In an age of ever increasing fidelity, low resolution images demonstrate an ability to be haunting, they can be seen to ‘weird’ the quotidian or the banal. Can this practice of weirding be used to skew perceptions within the real and allow us perspectives onto the contemporary condition?
the future isn’t what it used to be seeks to exist in a fantasy realm whilst also remaining rooted in lived experience. Both bodies of work engage with subject matter that could be classified in either category; neither subscribe to the binary of truth or not truth. Without defined boundaries the works bleed out into their environment, and the space seeps into them: a process of reciprocal osmosis. A multi-focal, multiply-inhabited way of being. How much do we become our environment as our environment becomes us? In a time of heightened escapism, are we falling into obliteration? Or is this another loop within the inevitable circularity of life? Welcome to the ‘roaring twenties’ 2.0.