Ancient Mew (2022),
Exhibition curated with Theo Ellison,
Conditions Project Space, Croydon, UK
Camille Yvert, Elliot Hewgill, Estefanía B Flores, Evangelia Dimitrakopoulou, Georgina Hill, Hawazin Al-Otaibi, Joe Moss, Jonathan Lloyd West, Kara Chin, Katia Kesic, Mark Leckey, Natalia Janula, Oisín O’Brien, Sophie Knight, Theo Ellison, Tiffany Wellington
Nostalgia, in all its wistful, rose-tinted longing, centres around Lacanian notions of desire - of something just out of reach, both tangible and intangible. Once seen as a potentially fatal psychological disorder in the 19th century, it is still viewed with suspicion as a seductive rumination. Yet it’s everywhere at this moment, saturating our visual culture. Within that framework, Ancient Mew looks at contemporary nostalgia and explores how it operates alongside cultural changes.
The soul of an old electronics store is key to the exhibition, supporting the presentation of these disparate works as evidence of the long memory of the internet. In tracing trajectories of nostalgia, from idealised visions of rural life and gothic romanticism, through to post-internet aesthetics; we see how meme culture co-opts imagery from the past into new forms.
Across sculpture, painting, digital print and video, the works in this show link up to map the process of gathering and recycling, the mechanics of fashion, the cultural capital of obscure taste, and the comforting melancholy of faded memories.
Curated by Theo Ellison & Joe Moss