Artists Anonymous: System of a Dawn / Berloni Gallery, London

For the inaugural show at Berloni – a London based gallery that was founded in 2011 by Margherita Berloni under the name EB&Flow, and relocated to 63 Margaret Street in October 2013 – the Berlin based collective Artists Anonymous (AA) conceived an immersive exhibition that fills the three floored, five room interior of the gallery. For System of a Dawn, Artists Anonymous have transformed the white cube into a garden landscape complete with natural grass, plants, a small stream. Greeted by the smell of grass and the murmur of the brook, the visitor is guided over a small bridge and downstairs to the other rooms that contain more installations, paintings, and murals. The exhibition runs until December 14, 2013.

Artist Anonymous: System of a Dawn / Berloni Gallery, London. Private view, October 14, 2013.

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From the press release:

Artists Anonymous (AA) exist in a world of inversion and opposites; contradiction and play. Theirs, is the other.
For the inaugural exhibition at BERLONI, the Berlin based collective invite you to into a surreal distortion of the three floored, five room interior.
AA’s arboretum will be the first point of entry. At once playing with the norm, rather than the garden standing as an exterior refuge in front of or behind the ‘home’ or ‘domestic’, the interior is the setting for a natural ecosystem. Undulating greenery takes over the space. We’re outside. Inside.
The installation is an example of Artists Anonymous’ ongoing game of inversions and illusion with the viewer, where commonplace expectations implode from the inside out and back again.

Downstairs is somewhere else all together different – delving down the rabbit hole and beneath the garden, the real and the living, becomes wooded and domestic. An anonymous game of sensory semantics is at play –
nothing lives quite up to expectation.

The installation donwstairs necessitates somewhat more engagement on our part – the viewer is asked to find the appropriate viewpoint, the correct angle, in order to see the image ahead. In and amongst immersive multimedia, aboard floorboards, beneath foliage – lie images, and indeed afterimages, all of which come into focus only from certain points of view

Munich’s 15th Century Frauenkirche church might help us to understand a little more of AA’s desire to coerce.Legend goes that the devil made a deal with the builder of the church, with the strict condition that there would be no windows, and therefore no light within. The soaring columns to the church were built in rows either side, artfully obscuring the large windows from the perspective of where the devil lay – he was none the wiser that light was in fact sent streaming into the holy court. With the church already consecrated, the devil had no choice but to admit defeat, and was left stomping his foot in a rage – his fixed vantage point didn’t allow for the optical reality.
AA give the us the benefit of the doubt – whereas the devil had no choice but to miss the ‘right angle’ – they allow us to walk in and around structures and spaces, to gradually reveal the image.

This is not the future you promised us
(Warren Ellis, ‘Doctor Sleepless’)

Perhaps not. For in the future of Artists Anonymous, there is all over painting,
immersive atmospheres; images and afterimages. Fashions; and ‘the look’ can be anything from Medieval and Victorian, to Punk and beyond. The hole in the garden is not to be feared, but to be entered – and the world below is infinite.

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