September 30th, 2013
Gilbert and George, Tom Dixon, Jeffery Hinton, Judy Blame, BodyMap, St John, Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Charlie Porter, Vogue Fabrics, Sibling, J W Anderson, Louise Gray and more!
As co-curator of ‘A journey through London Subculture 1980’s to Now’ we asked Princess Julia to talk us through the latest installment provided by The ICA.
Last month we opened the doors to the ICA Off-Site project at the Old Selfridges Hotel, a vast industrial space furnished with the wonders of London’s counterculture via a series of over 50 ‘vitrines’ filled with artists, designers, collectors and architects ideas and artifacts, installation work, film and a series of events and talks spanning the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and into the present day. A project close to my heart, I was asked to advise and co-curate along with ICA director Gregor Muir, design gallerist Libby Sellers and curator and writer Emily King. In essence we have a map of the way creative disciplines have over-lapped and influenced each other through the decades.
Opening night was something rather special, just like the show itself which reveals a very human side to the passion London has to creativity and the way people gravitate towards our city in order to fulfill their dreams. Gathered together under one roof came our worthy cast list of participants along with supporters, friends and fans reflecting the diverse nature of this project.
Covering a myriad of moments the vitrines themselves seem to take on a life of their own with interlinking reportage of a personal and creative nature. In my own vitrine I began with one theme and ended up somewhere else cramming as much as I could from my own experience, both mundane and humdrum to something with a sprinkling of glamour attached to it. Curios of the past, old press cuttings, club flyers and even a St John ashtray complete with cigarette butts to art objects, the latex penis cast from the work of Sue Websters and Tim Nobles shadow work, an artistically adapted birthday card from artist Donald Urquhart, a magazine photo from Wolfgang Tillmans, so much stuff it spills over. I’ve tried to cover the past and include my latest musings with a portrait from David Sims the current issue Paris Vogue.
It’s been so much fun exploring in intimate detail the stories and experiences of London at its most fundamental level where the seeds of an idea perhaps long forgotten reveal themselves in an explosive fashion in later decades. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… There really hasn’t been a show quite like this one!
On until the 20th October our talks include ‘Club Culture: the Evolution of a London Scene’ on the 12th October, ‘Collecting Digital Art in the Age of Digital Technology’ and ‘Bright Young Things’ on the 19th October.
Words by Princess Julia
Photography by Mark Blower