Following the shocking Brexit result, and the ever accumulating terror attacks, Jimmy Cauty brings us his latest art installation project – The Aftermath Dislocation Principle. A 40ft shipping container travelling the country until Christmas Day, the piece contains a miniature post-apocalyptic world. Small holes in the container allow visitors to peak into Cauty’s destructive environment, complete with police-chatter in the background and helicopter searchlights.
Recently, the tour was in my own city of Norwich, and for good reason. The ADP is visiting places that are ‘historic riot sites’ in the UK. The notable Norwich riots span all the way back to the Cathedral Riots of 1272, ending with the recent Brexit protest, in which over 2000 people called for a second referendum. The container will end its tour on Christmas Day in the town on which it is based on – Bedford.
When I visited, the artwork was attracting much attention from all ages and seemingly all backgrounds. It seems that the turbulent politics of 2016 (Brexit, Trump, even the recent Australian outcome) has sparked an interest in counter-culture movements and messages challenging the status quo. As you peak inside the gloomy remains of what was once Bedford, littered with police (doing nothing to help the situation) and building remains, you can’t help but wonder what future our society faces.
Cauty also commented on why he believes his recent apocalyptic piece has attracted so much attention, and the technicalities surrounding its construction, saying: ‘many people are drawn to the ADP and it only takes a couple of seconds to hook people in, then they want to spend a long time just looking and listening. I think there are two things that happen in that first two seconds, the first is the level of detail 1:87 is observed then juxtaposed with the scale of the cityscape creating a feeling of astonishment that so much detail can be created for such a large area, the second thing is the police car strobe lights which are all programmed to flash at different frequencies to nearby police cars so they never flash in sync with each other thus creating a magical lighting effect.’
Jimmy Cauty’s artwork aims to provoke this kind of mystified feeling throughout his pieces. His previously popular exhibition, A Riot in a Jam Jar, shows various real and fabricated scenes from the G20 and student riots depicted in miniature form. Seeing the scenes so small and trapped in these up-turned jam jars makes you reflect on these notable moments in our social history.
What is even more fascinating is how Cauty produced the ADP. He actually made a ‘normal’ construction of the town, and then methodically and systematically destroyed it. Therefore, he is simulating the action of the riot scene he has set out to produce. The ADP is a riot in itself.
You can follow this ‘riot’ as it makes its pilgrimage around popular and lesser-known protest sites, and learn a little more about how your area challenged important social issues. It is an interesting exhibit that makes you nervous and laugh both at the same time – perhaps reflecting our own feelings towards the current perception of state control and social freedom.