‘False Friends’ was an exhibition at The Function Suite, 25 West Ham Lane, London, E15
It was open for one evening
It Featured Marc Blazel, Hannah Cass-Simpson, Edward Kay, Alan Michael, Sam Plagerson, Steven Gee, Klara Vith, Joe Highton, William Leach, Gillies Adamson-Semple
‘ False Friends’ was an exhibition considering the shared languages between contemporary
practice, and consumer culture in 2020. Placing image based practices in dialogue with artists
considering commodification, retail and idiosyncrasies in contemporary society.
In linguistics, a ‘false friend’ is a shortened version of the expression ‘false friend of the
translator’, referring to words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ
significantly in meaning. Reaching out for the familiarity of a similar sounding word in most
cases can be semantically treacherous, but the brain always reaches for what it knows.
In the same sense, we live in a culture of familiarity - saturated with imagery, and more than
ever, as with language, there is a disrupted sense of lineage. Things no longer seem exactly
familiar, but ever present. Déjà vu, translated back to English as ‘already seen’, is a phenomenon
that still cannot be fully explained, an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that
shouldn't be familiar at all.
Fredric Jameson writes on Postmodernity as “the total saturation of cultural space by the
image”, this complete permeation of images logically means that everywhere is an aesthetic
experience, removing any autonomy. Everything is now fully translated into the visible and the
culturally familiar, “aesthetic attention," he says, "finds itself transferred to the life of
perception as such", a "new life of postmodern sensation," in which "the perceptual system of
late capitalism" experiences everything from shopping to all forms of leisure as aesthetic.
We live in a state of becoming, of having been, and therefore changing.