“People walk around because they are looking for shops. I walk around because I am looking for you.” A line from the first issue of Holly White‘s Feelings Offline zine. It’s one of a short series of A4 sheets of paper, photocopied and folded in half, with content taken from online sources – namely Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube – where the London-based artist ‘stores her feelings’. Two years later White’s soul still lingers within these networks of affective commodity, whether it’s in the defunct Baskin Robbins as envisaged at her recent solo exhibition No one is going to go there anymore (photos top right) at Evelyn Yard or the story of a shopping aisle/coffee table split in her Supermarket Cafe video series.
Part one, published last year, presented a partition of consumer spaces between White and Lyndon Harrison; a break up that saw the two protagonists respectively restricted to Starbucks and Sainsbury’s, while each of them navigated the privations of the single life within the infrastrucutre of the shopping complex: “it’s not that great being in the supermarket, I never sit down”.
For the sequel, ‘Supermarket Cafe 2 (Christmas Special)’ (2015), White and Harrison explore the possibilities of reuniting under the dazzle of festive tinsel and branded Christmas coffee mugs to the tune of Barry White’s ‘It May Be Winter Outside (But in my Heart it’s Spring)’, as performed by Adam Christensen singing to an accordion (“I miss my baby’s arms”).
The video offers 20-minutes of Harrison roaming the terrain of teeth whiteners, christmas crackers and magazines before finally folding and asking White to join him, “just one day. You could come in the supermarket. I could come in the coffee shop, for Christmas”. With matching Mockingjay™ pendants and take-away coffees in hand, the two rebuild their relationship over vegetarian-option readymade meals and speculations on gluten-free crustless bread. That’s before resolving to send a message to their past selves via the 0s and 1s of a binary-numbered coding system sent via baked goods and a wormhole in aisle 25. It warns, “DON’T SPLIT”. **