Modern Panic

The last time DW visited art-space Apiary Studios, it ended up spending no small amount of time laying in a coffin, before watching an enormous ice skull doused in paraffin melt before its confused little eyes.

Taxidermy by Charlie Tuesday Gates
Taxidermy by Charlie Tuesday Gates

And the forthcoming Modern Panic event the venue is set to host sounds no less darkly, bizarrely brilliant.

Cedric Laquieze, Fairy
Cedric Laquieze, Fairy

This is the third Modern Panic event, which sees illustrators, artists, live-art practitioners and taxidermists fill the space with their oddities.

More than 50 artists are taking part, and we’re promised that all have been selected for their ‘surreal, controversial and provocative’ ways.

The Veil, Dan Hillier
The Veil, Dan Hillier

Curated by arts and events organisation Guerrilla Zoo’s artistic director and curator  James Elphick, Highlights are set to be the incredible Victorian stylings of Dan Hillier’s illustrations, as well as the disquieting yet charming taxidermy works of Charlie Tuesday Gates.

Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson

Other exhibitors include prisoner Charles Bronson, live body artist Nicola Canavan, mattress embroiderer Louise Riley, Lady Gaga and Bat for Lashes designer Natasha Lawes and photographer Sarah Sitkin.

Sarah Sitkin
Sarah Sitkin

Fulfilling the goth-fantasy aesthetic perfectly is the work of illustrator Santiago Caruso, whose pig/pill/gun skull image is something of a visual mind-warp.

Portrait of Crime, Santiago Caruso
Portrait of Crime, Santiago Caruso

Those looking to test their cognisance even further should look no further than the recreation of the Dreamachine that will be installed in the space. The Dreamachine was first created in the 1960s by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, and takes the form of a rotating cylindrical flicker device.  A light bulb is suspended in the centre of the cylinder and the rotation speed allows the light to come out from the holes at a constant frequency that corresponds to the oscillations of the human brain while relaxing.

Brion Gysin with the Dreamachine at Musee des art Decoratifs Paris, 1962.
Brion Gysin with the Dreamachine at Musee des art Decoratifs Paris, 1962.

Viewed with closed eyes, the light simulates the optical nerve in the brain, creating bright, complex patterns behind the eyelids, giving the under a sense of being surrounded by colour.

You know, just in case the rest of this ‘psyche exploding’ show wasn’t quite terrifying enough.

Modern Panic III runs from 24 November – 2 December at Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London E2

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