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IRL: The Best Digital-Themed Exhibitions in London Right Now

Jess Benjamin shares the top five digital-themed exhibitions to visit in London this month.

What To Do With A Million Years – Juno Calypso

© Juno Calypso

Taking the idea of the nuclear bunker and running with it, Avon cosmetics founder Gerry Anderson created the ultimate underground lair in 1960s Las Vegas. Photographer June Calypso found this bunker and stayed there, to produce a series of eerily pristine photos alongside a physical recreation of the bunker. The fountains, smooth music and millennial pink hues make it an Instagrammer’s dream, but the message behind the exhibition has a slightly more ominous tone; the bunker was designed to provide immortality. Calypso manipulates that purpose into a metaphor for the modern fear of aging and ugliness, stripping away at the Instagram-perfect world that the bunker initially appears to be.

Running until 23rd June 2018 at T.J. Boulting.

Another Kind of Life – Multiple Artists

© Paz Errázuriz

Exploring the margins of society and pushing boundaries is something the digital world is no stranger to, with activism and rebellion finding their modern roots grounded in the online world. This photographic exhibition featuring work from photographers such as Bruce Davidson and Philippe Chancel is an eclectic mix of portraits of the outsiders of the world that will jolt the senses and shock the mind, as the disenfranchised subjects of the photos are allowed to construct their identities through the lens of a camera.

Running until 27th June at The Barbican.

Marianna Simnett

© Marianna Simnett

If you’re squeamish, look away now. This installation from Marianna Simnett contains three screens each showing a different film on loop. These films are fantastical in their goriness, depicting varicose vein treatments, nose operations (to put it mildly) and an infected cow udder. Simnett uses her art to create a visceral representation of the body and how it manifests itself within society, with a particular emphasis placed upon the female body. The use of lighting, sound and moving images is as powerful as it is disturbing, making this exhibition a must-see.

Running until 8th July at Zabludowicz Collection.

Fake News – Ernesto Cánovas

© Ernesto Cánovas

The theme of the exhibition is evident from its title – Cánovas examines the phenomenon of perceived truth and the questioning of the truth, as well as the nature of politics and cyber security that have been in flux since the 2016 US presidential election. Cánovas uses blocks of acrylic colour and layers of resin to create depth and texture and to break down the boundaries between light, colour and form. The manipulation of images serves as a powerful reminder for the manipulation of not only news, but the of any manipulation within a digital landscape.

Running until 1st June at The Halycon Gallery.

Olde Food – Ed Atkins

© Ed Atkins

Atkins is a video artist, mostly using stock footage and CGI avatars within his work, creating moving images with motion capture and sound samples. Olde Food is his new show, bringing you a critique of the modern obsession with the online world. The show is laden with reversed food ‘porn’, discordant piano tunes and medieval clothing rails. Sound confusing? It is. It’s complicated and technological, but the dissonance created by the sounds and sights of the exhibition create a perfect landscape for reflecting upon the power and privilege of those who control the online world.

Running until 2nd June at Cabinet Gallery.

Words by Jess Benjamin

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