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Tourists applying for visa entry to The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland's Gasworks Territory.

Slash Fiction, Installation shot

Liu Chuang
The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland
Philippe Parreno
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
Janek Simon
Wang Wei
Hu Xiangqian

Slash Fiction explored the critically reflexive ways in which artists utilise mainstream cultural and social structures. The selected artists operate and participate within major systems or languages such as party politics, advertising, colonisation and the World Wide Web. The results are often implicitly challenging to the ways those systems work.

Slash Fiction presented works by six international artists. Janek Simon’s use of information and materials gained only from the internet demonstrated how easy it is to make almost anything given enough time, patience and bandwidth. Liu Chuang’s conceptual works allowed the viewer to perceive the extent and pervasiveness of large systems, through smaller events and acts. Philippe Parreno’s The dream of a thing was screened at local cinemas during the advertising break, using the visual language of advertisements to sell something unspecified. Hu Xianggian’s video Flying Blue Flag documents his bid for mayor in his local elections, energetically campaigning by promising commercial regeneration, pushing gently on religious tensions and simply offering to buy votes. Wang Wei transformed the architectural grammar of the exhibition space with his ambitious exhibition design. The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland annexed Gasworks as a territory for the duration of the exhibition*.

Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction in which characters from popular culture are homoerotically re-cast according to the desires of its usually female authors. It can be considered a kind of ‘minor literature’: a form of literature written by the minority in the language of the major group, capable of unsettling its coherence. Slash Fiction presents strategies that are similarly minoritarian actions not within linguistic but within social, cultural, digital and political structures.

Hu Xiangqian, Wang Wei and Liu Chuang participated in Gasworks' International Residency Programme between January and March 2007 developing projects for the exhibition. This exhibition and residency project was the first of a three-year project supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. For more information on their projects click here.

* Non-citizens required a visa to enter the Kingdoms

Offsite: The dream of a thing
During the weeks of the exhibition, Philippe Parreno’s work The dream of a thing will be screened during the pre-film advertising at various London cinemas. This one-minute work uses the visual language of advertising in an extravaganza that sells nothing. Further details to be announced.

***

EVENTS

TALK: The annexing of Gasworks
Wednesday 4 April, 6.30pm
At Gasworks

The annexing of Gasworks by The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland will be officially declared with a ceremonial address by Carl Michael von Hausswolff, King of Vargaland.

TALK:
Saturday 21 April, 2007, 3pm
At Gasworks

Shumon Basar, architect and an editor of Tank magazine and sexymachinery will discussed the exhibition with its curators Nav Haq and Mia Jankowicz. The discussion was followed by two screenings:
Newsflash RBTF Television, 2007 (9 mins). A newsflash, screened recently on Belgian public television, announced fictitiously that Belgium's Flemish population was declaring its independence. The newsreel played with contemporary political anxiety and tensions between Flemish- and French-speaking communities.
Thriller Sally Potter, 1979 (34 mins). In this retelling of Puccini's La Boheme, the character Mimi attempts to figure out the reasons for her own death. This rarely screened feminist classic unpicks the gendered structures of the thriller genre.

CLOSING:
Sunday 27 May, 2007, 3pm
At Gasworks

The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland celebrated their 15th anniversary at Gasworks on the closing day of the show. Carl Michael von Hausswolf and his UK Ambassador gave an audience to subjects and tourists, officially ending the annexation of Gasworks by KREV. Food and the national drink, vodka and coke, was provided.

Curated by Mia Jankowicz and Nav Haq.

Links

Resonance FM

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

The Kingdom of Elgaland-Vargaland's Digital Territory