Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wednesday 18th September: BLOG TAKEOVER - ICA Off-Site - A Journey Through London Subculture, 1980s to Now

A major new project at The Old Selfridges Hotel opened this week, an experiment whereby the ICA seeks to test the existence of an interconnected legacy that can be traced back to the 1980s and beyond.

The instillation really embodies the spirit of the post-punk DIY aesthetic. The ICA's off-site project takes over the first floor location of the Selfridges Hotel, a vast crude industrial space.  Sitting amongst various installations and video are more than 50 vitrines exploding with life, history, memorabilia, and relics from an eclectic mix or artists, studio collectives, style icons, designers and other legendary subcultural figures who were asked to create a mood, or 'personal archeology within.' 

The space brings together up to 60 influential artists and art movements from London past and present, including Bodymap, Matthew Darbyshire, Giles Deacon, LouiseGray, Zaha Hadid, Jeffrey Hinton, Sarah Lucas, Lucky PDF, NicolaTyson, Julie Verhoeven, Studio Voltaire, Jonny Woo and Bethan LauraWood.

We very quickley spotted ones of Freds Brooches located inside the VogueFabrics cabinet curated by Lyall Hakaraia. Instantly identified due to the spectral colour and clever use of paper in origami form. Hakaraia, a regular host of 'transvestite after parties,' set up the East End club Vogue Fabrics in 2008. Housed in the basement of a Dalston townhouse - which in its previous life was a Turkish dance studio, immigration office and dosshouse - Vogue Fabrics now hosts parties every weekend and cultural events during the week. 

The project invites you to walk through London's sub culture from the punk, new romantic, club kid, fetish scene, making links between London’s diverse creative scenes from the past and into the current. Examples from art, fashion, design, film, installation, architecture and dance, as well as nightclubs, restaurants and bars, make up the monumental instillation.

An exciting and energetic space and 'experiment', there really is so much to take in, a reflection maybe of London's diverse and ever evolving scenes and movements. The project asks some interesting questions - What is counterculture and does it still exist? Over four Decades, what connections can be made between all of these different strands of creativity? Do the creative generations today have the same desires to make something for nothing? Is there sill enough risk-taking? Visiting the exhibition we are invited to take the journey and find the answers for ourselves.

This has been a blog take over by Ciara and Nicci from Fred Butler HQ.

(Picture credits:  Exhibition shots by Ciara & Nicci. Private view portraits by Fred inc. Bethan Wood, Julie Verhoeven, Christos Tolero, Felicity Hayward, Tamie Adaya, Princess Julia and Bobby Abbley.   Snap of Fred & Seye by Gemma Cairney)

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