Power Games: 1980s-inspired photography

It’s a well-worn cliché that in many ways, little has changed since the 1980s – from unemployment to recession to Lady GaGa aping Like a Prayer-era Madonna, these comparisons are becoming tired.

Matt Fagg
Matt Fagg

However, an exhibition of photographs opening at London’s Dreamspace Gallery next month aims to throw a new spotlight on the decade – presenting what the gallery describes succinctly as ‘ the remnants of a human will-to-power via the machines of an obsolete period in which humans refused to conceive of, whilst perpetually envisioning and acting out, the collapse of their civilization following massive attack.’

Matt Fagg
Matt Fagg

Essex-based photographer Matthew Fagg’s pictures are photographs of early 1980s gaming technology. In their stark, static poses, the now-obsolete consoles are lifeless and tired.

Paula Gortazar
Paula Gortazar

These melancholy tableaux aim to reflect the owners’ move from destructive childhood to the responsibilities of adulthood – leaving behind interplanetary warfare in favour of less exciting things like ‘social, political and corporate decisions.’ 

Paula Gortazar
Paula Gortazar

Paula Gortázar’s work examines the interiors of the European Parliament buildings, focussing largely on the Michel Boucquillon- designed Espace Leopold.

Paula Gortazar
Paula Gortazar

The industrially-produced materials of the interiors and the sharp angles of the building are said to reference the games console, as shown in Fagg’s images as a somewhat obvious reference to the idea of the ‘political-machine’.

The message – we think – is that people change, machines don’t. 

 

Paula Gortazar
Paula Gortazar

Power Games runs from 6 – 23 February at Dreamspace Gallery, Craftwork Studios, 3 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y

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