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James Lavelle’s ‘Daydreaming’ (exhibition review)

Who is James Lavelle? Well he launched the Mo’Wax record label, he is a long time resident of Fabric nightclub in London and collaborates with musicians and artists under the guise of UNKLE. From 27th-30th August he curated ‘Daydreaming…with James Lavelle’ at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London.

I visited the exhibition on Saturday 28th August that was described as follows:

“Inspired by the desire to marry music and visual art, Daydreaming…with James Lavelle is a unique and visceral new exhibition experience, bringing together some of the most high-profile and acclaimed creative names working in music, art, film, fashion and design. Each artist will create relative work inspired by music composed for the project by UNKLE.”

Interestingly, I noticed that it was also described as being a ‘pop-up’ exhibition. The expression ‘pop-up’ is being increasingly used to describe something that appears for a limited time yet this could easily have been referred to as being a ‘temporary’ exhibition.

What really stood out was the way that multimedia was used to convey UNKLE’s message. There were mini sculptures, paintings, conceptual artwork, models, installations and video projections. One of my favourites was the video installation for the music video ‘Follow Me Down’ (featuring Liberty Ross from Sleepy Sun). You had to look through a narrow slit in the wall and put headphones on to be fully absorbed in the experience. It is an incredible piece of music with breathtaking cinematography.
The video may offend some viewers:

Overall, it was one of the most impressive exhibitions I have witnessed in nearly ten years in London.

What they could have done better:
One of the things they could have improved was the sound proofing of the rooms. To truly appreciate UNKLE’s videos, you have to watch them in the dark (in the same way as you would watch a movie). They could have made sure the light was blocked from coming in more effectively. The sound though was the real issue as you could hear the music from the other videos in the background.  They could also have given more information with the artist and piece (maybe the emotions they were trying to stir, where they were filmed etc.).


About David Lowe

Founder / editor at Origin of Cool (www.originofcool.com) and World Sport Bloopers (http://www.worldsportbloopers.com). Talk to me about building online communities, social media, online advertising and cool stuff. Love ping pong!


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