Jimmy Cauty comes from a generation of disruptive artists that actually has something to say. In an age where mass media has blurred the lines between art and propaganda, Cauty still creates a relevant ideological message, along with visuals that talk to most of the visitors to his exhibitions.
His last London show was at the L-13 Gallery in 2011. It was called Riot in a Jam Jar and consisted of various tableaus of the then recent UK riots which hit the previous year. I was so impressed that I bought one of the pieces, which now sits next to my TV. In his latest exhibition ‘Model Village’, held in a railway arch, in London’s Bankside, Cauty is again pushing boundaries. After his successful installation at Banksy’s Dismaland, the village continues to grow in scale whilst the show is open to the public. There are model makers on site unveiling the 8th wonder of the miniature world, ‘New Bedford Rising’ a tower of Babel model complete with solid gold pyramid on the top.
The main attraction titled ‘ADP’ (Aftermath Dislocation Principle) is an ambitious post-riot landscape in the form of a miniature dystopian model village. It is described as; “A place where only the police and media teams remain in an otherwise deserted, wrecked and dislocated land”. The installation utilises film special effects and cinematic style model-making. The main attraction is behind building hoarding and you peer into peep holes punched into the construction area. This gives a realistic experience of what is occurring within the massive installation.
Mr Cauty and his core team of helpers have spent 9 months using traditional model making skills, materials and techniques. This sort of project in visual art is not re-inventing the wheel, as Jake and Dinos Chapman have been doing it since the 1990s, with works such as “Hell’. Ai Weiwei in his current show at the Royal Academy also uses model making for propaganda/political ends. All three of these artists convey a shared, strong social and political message. They explore surveillance and the police state, a collective worry that we all share in today’s society.
This is by far one of the more interesting exhibitions on show during the holiday season. Don’t Miss it!!!
James Cauty like the late Mike Kelley came from a music background. He is described as an ‘artist and cultural provocateur’. He had a number of chart hits as the founder of The KLF but is best remembered for the implementation of the The K-Foundation and the burning of a ‘Million Quid’ (1994). Cauty is sworn to silence about his actions in the 90s. He signed an agreement not to discuss the burning event until 2017. I’ll be first in the queue for an interview.
Words/Photo P C Robinson © Artlyst 2015
Jimmy Cauty Model Village and New Bedford Rising until 28 January 2016 37 America Street , London, SE1 0NJ. UK £4.00 worth every penny!