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The Unlimited Dream Company II

Aidan Duffy, Callum Eaton, Vilte Fuller, Rachel Hobkirk, Sandra Poulson, Scott Young

Organised with Hannah Barry Gallery

7 October - 16 December 2023

Hannah Barry Gallery, London

The Unlimited Dream Company (1979) defies the easy categorisation of novelist J.G. Ballard’s more traditional science fiction - rejecting dystopian urbanism in favour of the constitution of a world driven by the fantastic and erotic. The protagonist, Blake (named for the 18th century English poet, William Blake), crashes into the narrative. Emerging from the remains of a flaming plane dashed to earth on the banks of Shepperton, Blake wrests himself free of his self-destructive skeleton - the literal and metaphorical wreckage of his life. The supernatural journey he embarks on is one of imagination - what life could be like when one chases utopia. Endowed with unlimited powers of creation, Blake fosters a new flourishing habitat of jungle vegetation, fathering exotic flora and fauna. Surrounding citizens soon abandon their day-to-day existence for the joy of the wayward - renouncing self-judgement and the incumbent shame upon which capitalism thrives.

Speaking not only to the highs of this twisted and loquacious world but equally its critique of contemporary desire, The Unlimited Dream Company II brings together six artists cycling through notions of immanence, mythology and speculative worlds, recognisable and not. Ballard’s orgiastic romp is taken as a starting point - a route to thinking through the prioritisation of pleasure and adventure as an alternative mode of being and learning. Exalting the unexpected and uncanny as magical, and illuminating the beauty of the disregarded and unconventional, Blake’s narrative is framed through the tension of opposition, ambiguity, subtle irony and disquieting inner thoughts. Building upon Ballard’s poetic renderings of a potential reality, the exhibition presents a dream-world of symbolic images and ideas. Chimeric compositions, biomorphic forms, hyperrealist speculations and an impartial perversity come together in exploration of a world given over to impulse, inclination, intention, and desire.

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