REALITY DRIVE:ESCAPE VELOCITY
Thu, 16 June 2016 - Sat, 9 July 2016Fitzrovia Gallery, London
Nick Fudge's solo exhibition Reality Drive:Escape Velocity comprises original editions from the artist's digital works series: Drive, Reality Drive, Picasso Hard Drive and Desert Drive.
Fudge is seen by many as “the lost YBA” as he studied art at Goldsmiths and was at the heart of the group of Young British Artists who jump-started a cultural revolution in the British art world of the late 1980’s. In 1992, Fudge showed his work for the first and only time in a group show with other YBA artists Sarah Lucas and Mat Collishaw etc., in a show curated by Michael Landy at Karsten Schubert, London after which he went completely underground and moved to America to make his work on the road and in solitude for over twenty-five years. During those years Fudge never showed his work to anyone and kept his entire oeuvre stored away on (now outmoded) Mac OS hard drives that are today almost entirely impossible to access by anyone with a modern laptop. Fudge’s collection of 'abandonware' hard drives store a hidden system of image files and archives that have evolved alongside of the acceleration of the digital age.
Reality Drive: Escape Velocity presents a selection of Fudge’s ‘hyperreal paintings’ created during his years of travelling across America. In each of the works, Fudge explores imaging as the ‘desertification’ of modernity’s image (what Baudrillard refers to as the ‘Vanishing Point’ of [digital] simulacra).
Fudge's 'hyperreal paintings' are both an image of the past and the future. As writer and curator An Paenhuysen has remarked on Fudge’s work: ‘In the 1990s Fudge started off by thinking about the Internet in a 2010’s post-internet kind of way. But in the 2010’s this same work is also an exploration of the media archeology of the 1990s.’ This statement reveals the complex parallax realities of each work, the paintings are created on abandonware but speak about an unknown futurepast.