1984: Fight or Flight? Recycle Re-use Re-con(figure)

1984: Fight or Flight?, focuses on the relationship between human and other animals. Like the seven consecutive solo shows that constitute the suite of works, The Alice Diaries, (2011 – 2018), the sequence will be realised in a succession of exhibitions. As in previous shows, this exhibition was motivated by an anxious awareness of environmental meltdown and crucially the current pandemic. Faced with unbearable environmental conditions, choices for humans, and, critically, other animals, are reduced to a binary conundrum: fight or flight. Following the inchoate need to flee, boat loads of people from the south, take to the perilous waters to cross to the (perceived) safety of the Northern Hemisphere. The human flight is echoed by the mass migration of other animals, fleeing drought, wild fires, degradation of their environments and the persecution by the apex predator: Homo Sapiens. George Orwell’s two dystopian novels, 1984 and Animal Farm act as a parallel texts to the visual objects. At this cusp in our history, Orwell’s novels are particularly apt in visualising a kind of post-apocalyptic world. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the artworks do not illustrate nor explain Orwell’s writings. Rather they act as an alternative text – a response as it were to his prescient vision.