Juxtapoz Magazine – Jeremy Olson “This Time of Monsters” @ Unit London

Component Parts of Collections Management: Who’s Who? | by Cleveland Museum of Art | CMA Thinker | Oct, 2022

“The old planet is dying and the new globe struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” – Antonio Gramsci

Jeremy Olson’s most current solo exhibition with Device London locations his acquainted cast of otherworldly creatures at the centre of an apocalyptic world. this time of monsters draws its title from Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci’s reflections on interregnum. Interregnum, an ancient Roman phrase, signifies a period of very long transition amongst historical stages. Olson situates his exhibition in this condition of in-betweenness, commenting on our recent time period of societal, political, economic and environmental uncertainty. In the course of these strategies of catastrophe and collapse, however, Olson’s exhibition by no means extinguishes a sense of hope and humour. In spite of appearances, these monsters are depicted as form and nurturing, confused and introspective and, at times, they just want to party.

Olson has been attracted to the notion of monsters because childhood, an curiosity that stems from his really like of cinema. The artist grew up watching frightening videos, the 1950s Godzilla films and David Cronenberg’s physique horror. As an grownup, Olson’s fascination with monsters normally takes form in their probable meaning as anything metaphorical, socio-political or psychoanalytical. Below, the idea of a monster is an emblem of upheaval and immense transform. 

In particular, the artist’s sculptures bookend these principles of disaster. The largest is a diorama of a monster with a kid, reclining in a decimated sports activities arena. The lizard-like creature itself is an apparent reference to Kaiju (Godzilla) and the composition is reminiscent of architectural products. The monster holds up the carriage of a ruined monorail, questioning its indicating with a stunned expression, though concurrently nursing an infant. Olson performs with standpoint, not only with bodily perspective by way of the scale of his sculptural composition, but also with our very own perspective of the monstrous. Below, the artist unexpectedly explores the subjectivity of a monster, reconciling it with anything human by encouraging us to relate to its perplexed expression and its maternal partnership. Likewise, Olson’s lesser sculptures humorously conflate the monstrous and the human as male-made constructions are built on the remnants of long-dead 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 play signify Olson’s overarching strategies of rebirth and rebuilding.

Regardless of Olson’s explorations of the apocalyptic and the catastrophic, this time of monsters continues to be imbued with the artist’s characteristic sense of humour. His anthropomorphic creatures are quickly relatable as they are unerringly distracted by a display, a consume or by every other as the earth comes to an stop. this time of monsters usually takes satisfaction in the current and reminds us of the options that can manifest in tricky conditions, placing a stability among a feeling of acknowledgement and hope. Olson’s depictions of these monstrously summary fears inevitably give way to universal inner thoughts of the interpersonal, reminding us normally to see ourselves in many others.

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