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Culture Watch: “Island” at Dairy Art Centre

Art & Design

Island Bound: Aldous Huxley’s 1962 utopia  reimagined at the new Dairy Art Centre.

Opened in Bloomsbury, United Kingdom in April 2013, the young, not-for-profit Dairy Art Centre was transformed from a former milk deposit into a free, 12,500-square-foot exhibition space showcasing the collections of founders Frank Cohen and Nicolai Frahm.

This month the gallery presents “Island”, curator Sarina Basta’s recreation of the journey taken by Aldous Huxley’s protagonist, Will Farnaby, in his 1962 novel of the same name. Written 30 years after “Brave New World,” “Island” countered the dark future presented in the earlier book with Huxley’s theories of utopia and imminent destruction based on Eastern religion and what would become a precursor to psychedelic culture on the fictional island of Pala.

Compiling 70 works of more than 40 eminent and up-and-coming artists including Cindy Sherman, Ai Weiwei, Peter Doig, Julian Schnabel and more from the founders’ private collections and international loans, including a handful of new commissions, the show takes visitors through the satirist’s vision of the future and interpreted as what the gallery calls a “shared experience of the here and now.”

The eclectic collection of sculpture and multimedia works invites viewers to take away what they will, establishing a free interpretation of the novel in the form of contemporary art. Only one thing’s for certain after a stroll through this modern version of the story—you’ll have a lot to think about when you go for drinks post-show.

Island” runs through December 8th, 2013