TEOTWAWKI - The end of the world as we know it

"Unlike previous alarmist responses to a crisis which focused on one main threat - for example, nuclear war - today's survivalism is driven by an unbounded imagination of anxiety." Prof Frank Furedi.

Summertime in London brings an air of festivities, the sound of children's laughter carried on the breeze as we sip our ice-cold drinks. However, the news on the radio seems intent on destroying this idyll. We are constantly informed by the persistent drone of the media, that 'the End of the World' is upon us.

Ash falling from the sky, terrorist attacks, tsunamis and meteorites, economic meltdown - modern-day society is subjected to a sense that we are in a constant state of threat, apparently living on the precipice of disaster.

It is the realisation of this, and the view from the precipice, that has conceived TEOTWAWKI.

TEOTWAWKI explores the codification of anxiety and fear in our society and the need to prepare ourselves for an undetermined but cataclysmic event in the near future. The show is based around a series of fictional propositions relating to how the world as we know it could end, and is inspired by popular culture's fascination, fetishisation and attempt to rationalise catastrophe. We are left with the idea of TEOTWAWKI learned and nurtured through both fictionalised and factual films and media.

Fascination with doomsday scenarios is symptomatic of a society dominated by a media in the business of sensationalising threat and profiting from shock. We are constantly searching for indicators and signs that might forcibly suggest that The End is Nigh. Through the dramatisation of news reports, propaganda posters and through the depiction of doom in film, these events somehow reach a level of absurdity, and then unreality - and perversely the western world is supposed to be more developed, more educated, safer and more advanced than ever before.

This exhibition represents a new departure for artists EA Byrne and Jamie Lau, now working collaboratively for the first time. Their individual practices are very distinct and therefore make for an unlikely collaboration, but it has been born of a long-term relationship of mutual support and working together on various projects.

A catalogue will be available soon after the show opens with a foreword essay written by Paul Carey-Kent.
TEOTWAWKI - The end of the world as we know it


Event Title: TEOTWAWKI - The end of the world as we know it
Postcode: 32 Fortesque Avenue, London E8 3QB
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