A grubby subterranean bar space in London’s Hoxton will this week be turned into a pre-apocalyptical bomb shelter in the name of art. Exploring the 2012 Phenomenon – a cult theory that the world will come to an end this December – London collective NO WAY are hosting the two month-long exhibition at Jaguar Shoes from Thursday. We sat down with the troupe, who offered us a early glimpse of exhibitor Emily Evans’ animated short, Hell Is Round The Corner.
How, when and why did NO WAY start?
NO WAY launched in June 2011, with a month long group exhibition at the Print House Gallery in Dalston, in association with HUH. magazine, featuring the artists on our roster. We came together to give a platform to a diverse group of emerging artists working in a range of different media. This included illustration, photography, print, music, installation, animation and paint, and with contrasting styles. Diversity seems to produce more interesting results than homogeny. We want our output to be genuinely accessible. Everyone involved is similar in that we share a positive, proactive approach.
Were you inspired by other collectives? Which ones?
Not by any particular artist collectives per se, but more by the ideologies of the “collective” in general – such as anarcho-syndicalism.
Explain 2012 Phenomenon for those who don’t know. Will we all die this year?
The 2012 Phenomenon refers to an event that is supposed to take place on a date which ends a ‘b’ak’tun’, a 5,125 year long cycle in the ancient Mayan or Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. According to a number of eschatalogical beliefs, on this date, the world will experience cataclysmic or “transformative” events. For some, this date signals the end of the world; others interpret it as a new era of positive spiritual enlightenment on a global scale. Others refer to it as “cultish bullshit”.
What will the exhibition seek to examine? What is showcased?
The exhibition explores the ambivalence of 21 December, 2012 – “doomsday” – from inside an apocalyptic bunker. Each of the seven artists involved has created work that reveals their interpretation of the events of that day, and their psychological reaction to being trapped underground, waiting it out – with antithetical results that together make up a live-in installation created collaboratively.
What you do if you knew you only had a week to live?
Oh fuck! Try to eat a lot of fruit and veg to reverse it.
Explain NO Way’s future plans in five words
Do a lot of stuff.
2012 Phenomenon runs until Sunday, May 29th.
Words: Jack Mills