GO SEE: David Blandy Child of the atom - on through to Saturday October 2nd 2010 - FAD Magazine

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GO SEE: David Blandy Child of the atom – on through to Saturday October 2nd 2010

A new film and installation by David Blandy.

There is a familial myth that my late Grandfather would not have survived being a Japanese Prisoner of War had the atomic bombing of Hiroshima not occurred. So it could be argued that I owe my existence to one of the most terrifying events of human history and the death of 110,000 people.

David Blandy

This family lore regarding David Blandy’s grandfather, held as a POW in Malaya and Taiwan from 1942, provides the genesis of Blandys latest solo exhibition, Child of the Atom. Generated by an underlying guilt about his own and also his daughters existence, Blandy’s film documents their visit to Hiroshima to literally and symbolically search for their ‘origins’. Projected in the basement space at Seventeen, Blandys quiet and meditative documentary scenes of their journey through modern Hiroshima are narrated by the future voice of his infant daughter, describing her memories of the trip. The filmed scenes are interspersed with flashback sequences of apocalyptic anime, which have been sampled and altered, working with Manga artist Inko, to include a figure, the film's eponymous hero, in the animated destruction and aftermath of the bomb. The film oscillates between moments of intimacy with his daughter and the dramatic and violent scenes of stylized explosion witnessed or caused by the Child of the Atom.

The everyday normalcy of the present day scenes illustrate Hiroshima as a real place, human in scale, banally opposed to the horrific context more commonly related to this city.

The installation in the main gallery space displays artifacts, ephemera, novels, comics and toys that examine some of the manifestations of the bombings in global popular culture. The installation is comprised of an amalgam of images found in the film, the entry area will be furnished with tourist information and maps, with an amateur museum dedicated to A-bomb related memorabilia. This library of references is dotted with Child of the Atom merchandise, including an arcade stick, where the Seimitsu clear bubble joystick doubles as a mushroom-cloud hovering over a map of Hiroshima, positing Blandy’s constructed character as a fiction amongst other pre-existing narratives.

David Blandy has established his terrain through a series of investigations into the cultural forces that inform and influence him, construct his identity, ranging from his love of hip hop and soul, to computer games and manga. His works slip between performance and video, reality and construct, using references sampled from the wide, disparate sources that provide his (and our own) sense of self. This latest work is perhaps the most intimate and direct piece of self examination and follows directly from the earlier works which sought to question how much of a Western sense of identity can be constructed from diverse popular sources.




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David Blandy is a man obsessed with popular culture. His work explores the ability that his interests and chosen aspects of counter culture have had to develop, shape and influence his existence as a human being.

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