“The aged globe is dying and the new earth struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” – Antonio Gramsci
Jeremy Olson’s latest solo exhibition with Unit London sites his acquainted forged of otherworldly creatures at the centre of an apocalyptic globe. this time of monsters draws its title from Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci’s reflections on interregnum. Interregnum, an historic Roman time period, signifies a period of very long changeover concerning historic levels. Olson situates his exhibition in this state of in-betweenness, commenting on our present time period of societal, political, economic and environmental uncertainty. During these ideas of catastrophe and collapse, however, Olson’s exhibition never extinguishes a sense of hope and humour. Even with appearances, these monsters are depicted as kind and nurturing, perplexed and introspective and, often, they just want to celebration.
Olson has been attracted to the strategy of monsters since childhood, an curiosity that stems from his like of cinema. The artist grew up watching frightening videos, the 1950s Godzilla movies and David Cronenberg’s system horror. As an grownup, Olson’s fascination with monsters takes condition in their prospective which means as a thing metaphorical, socio-political or psychoanalytical. Listed here, the idea of a monster is an emblem of upheaval and immense improve.
In unique, the artist’s sculptures bookend these principles of catastrophe. The major is a diorama of a monster with a youngster, reclining in a decimated sports activities arena. The lizard-like creature alone is an clear reference to Kaiju (Godzilla) and the composition is reminiscent of architectural versions. The monster retains up the carriage of a destroyed monorail, questioning its indicating with a stunned expression, even though simultaneously nursing an infant. Olson performs with point of view, not only with bodily point of view through the scale of his sculptural composition, but also with our individual point of view of the monstrous. In this article, the artist unexpectedly explores the subjectivity of a monster, reconciling it with anything human by encouraging us to relate to its baffled expression and its maternal partnership. Similarly, Olson’s scaled-down sculptures humorously conflate the monstrous and the human as person-built buildings are crafted on the remnants of extended-useless monsters. A rollercoaster sprouts from a decaying reptilian foot and a children’s slide grows from a clawed hand. These incongruous references to leisure and engage in represent Olson’s overarching tips of rebirth and rebuilding.
Even with Olson’s explorations of the apocalyptic and the catastrophic, this time of monsters continues to be imbued with the artist’s attribute feeling of humour. His anthropomorphic creatures are instantaneously relatable as they are unerringly distracted by a display, a consume or by each and every other as the planet comes to an finish. this time of monsters will take satisfaction in the present and reminds us of the prospects that can manifest in tricky conditions, putting a equilibrium involving a sense of acknowledgement and hope. Olson’s depictions of these monstrously abstract fears inevitably give way to universal feelings of the interpersonal, reminding us normally to see ourselves in other folks.