An annual celebration of artists in the city, exhibitors at V22 Studios‘ Young London, were this year selected by a panel including Space studio’s Paul Peroni, V22 director Tara Cranswick, as well as a host of art school teachers and previous Young Londoners nominating their peers. Now in its third edition, the event has built its reputation by acting on this shortlist only after seeing each and every one of the graduates’ shows in person, be it tracking round final year projects or stealthily checking out group shows. Once selected the artists have only a short four weeks to create site-specific works, two to install them in the enormous Bermondsey warehouse space.
Of the 31 pieces across the massive floor space, Rhys Coren’s ‘If We Can Dance Together’ (2013) catches the eye first. A video installation that loops animations of different colours; going from crayon-yellow, blue and black, with occasional stampeding hooves, dots or lines of white. Across eight separate fat-monitor TVs on the floor, accompanied by a disco soundtrack on wireless headphones, it sets up a fun visual journey, viewed from around the centre-point of Room One, from which you can half-see Hannah Lees’ video projection ‘Eternal’ (2013).
The promising vegetable-dyed cloth and a prominently positioned projection is unfortunately lost in the refraction of lights beaming in on works nearby but, next door, large white box structures act as a solution; blacking out all distractions and showing works like ‘Mike Check’ (2013) by Alice Theobold. Filmed in HD but appearing quite grainy, the film nevertheless stands strong in terms of its content, which is made-up of rehearsal outtakes. The female lead is supposed to be a strong character, accusing her lover Mike of not telling the truth but in reality constantly asking the director, Hans Diernberger, to give her commands. It’s a great critique on the role of the spectator, Hollywood production, and post-feminist thinking: “Tell me to be me intimidating,” she says. “Be more intimidating!” he shouts back, in unending feedback that gradually fades away as a bouncing track from Ravioli Me Away takes over the speakers.
‘A Reading (Just In Case You Care)’ (2013) by Holly White next door also features music heavily, with snippets from Grimes’ Oblivion sound-tracking a mess of clips spliced together using software that can also be seen in action on White’s collaborative project with Gothtech or with super vloggers like PewDiePie. White says she likes to blast out Evanescence but “it has to be played on CD” in the manner of a confessional teenage video diary. It is a personal piece but also a timely one; when YouTube is investing in studio facilities for bloggers who have 1,000 subscribers and inviting them in to “chill”, in what is really a bid to push up the quality of video content and increase revenue. Back in Room One ‘How To Feel Better, A Display (Just In Case You Care)’ (2013), also by White, has homemade objects from the set of the video, such as a circle with dates of years and tiles with phrases like, “so I propose next week’s theme when you’re feeling down” in a move to address that disconnect between screen-based narrative and net-based interaction, so keenly felt overall. **
Header image: V22 Young London (2013). Photo by Ollie Hammick.