BRENT BIENNIAL: DAVID BLANDY, HARLESDEN LIBRARY PLUS

David Blandy, Visions of the Deep Past, Video still. 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.

Artist David Blandy has worked with young people from Capital City Academy and Roundwood Youth Centre to reimagine Harlesden 8000 years from now.

This future is set in the high fantasy world of The World After, a role-play game setting that Blandy has been building for the past two years. It imagines a lush environment, a place where humans have left the surface for millennia, and a new world has evolved, erasing much of humanity’s legacy.

Through discussion, writing and drawing these possible societies and their histories have been created with young people, additionally translated into visuals by illustrator Wumi Olaosebikan alongside the art of the participants themselves. Large-scale images of this post-human world are presented in bold vinyl fill Harlesden Library Plus, along with a timeline of the history and imagined future history of Harlesden.

The World After has been conceived by Blandy as a Tabletop Roleplaying Game (TTRPG) formed through collaborative sessions, originally commissioned by Focal Point Gallery and New Geographies. The work is influenced by the worlds depicted by fantasy fiction authors Ursula Le Guin and Octavia Butler.

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David Blandy lives and works in London and Brighton

Through his diverse practice, David Blandy questions our relationship to the culture that surrounds us, reflecting on the imaginary spaces that form our identity. Delving deep into video gaming, genre fantasy and Internet culture, he is fascinated by each form’s potential for communality and finding new forms of kinship.

Recent solo exhibitions include; How to Fly/How to Live with John Hansard Gallery; The World After at Focal Point Gallery, Southend; The End of the World at Seventeen Gallery and Citadel at The Exchange, Cornwall. His work has been shown at numerous public institutions including Tate, London; FACT, Liverpool; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; INIVA, London; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart; Spike Island, Bristol; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Serpentine Gallery, London; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Modern Art Oxford; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne.

www.davidblandy.co.uk


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Photography courtesy of Thierry Bal