SLASH FICTION - Liu Chuang / The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland / Philippe Parreno / Beatriz Santiago Muñoz / Janek Simon / Wang Wei / Hu Xiangqian

Curated by Mia Jankowicz and Nav Haq.

Slash Fiction explores the critically reflexive ways in which artists utilise mainstream cultural and social structures. The selected artists operate and participate within major systems or languages such as party politics, advertising, colonisation and the World Wide Web. The results are often implicitly challenging to the ways those systems work.

Slash Fiction will present works by six international artists. Janek Simon’s use of information and materials gained only from the internet will demonstrate how easy it is to make almost anything given enough time, patience and bandwidth. Liu Chuang’s conceptual works allow the viewer to perceive the extent and pervasiveness of large systems, through smaller events and acts. Philippe Parreno’s The dream of a thing will be screened at local cinemas during the advertising break, using the visual language of advertisements to sell something unspecified. Hu Xiangqian’s video Flying Blue Flag documents his bid for mayor in his local elections, energetically campaigning by promising commercial regeneration, pushing gently on religious tensions and simply offering to buy votes. Wang Wei will transform the architectural grammar of the exhibition space with his ambitious exhibition design. The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland will annex Gasworks as a territory for the duration of the exhibition*.

Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction in which characters from popular culture are homoerotically re-cast according to the desires of its usually female authors. It can be considered a kind of ‘minor literature’: a form of literature written by the minority in the language of the major group, capable of unsettling its coherence. Slash Fiction presents strategies that are similarly minoritarian actions not within linguistic but within social, cultural, digital and political structures.

* Non-citizens will require a visa to enter the Kingdoms

Offsite: The dream of a thing
During the weeks of the exhibition, Philippe Parreno’s work The dream of a thing will be screened during the pre-film advertising at various London cinemas. This one-minute work uses the visual language of advertising in an extravaganza that sells nothing. Further details to be announced.


Sat 21 Apr, 3pm: Shumon Basar, architect and an editor of Tank magazine and sexymachinery will discuss the exhibition with its curators Nav Haq and Mia Jankowicz. The discussion will be followed by screenings:

-Newsflash, RBTF Television, 2007 (9 mins). A newsflash, screened recently on Belgian public television, announced fictitiously that Belgium's Flemish population was declaring its independence. The newsreel played with contemporary political anxiety and tensions between Flemish- and French-speaking communities.

-Thriller, Sally Potter, 1979 (34 mins). In this retelling of Puccini's La Boheme, the character Mimi attempts to figure out the reasons for her own death. This rarely screened feminist classic unpicks the gendered structures of the thriller genre.

Sun 27 May, 3pm: The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland will celebrate their 15th anniversary at Gasworks on the closing day of the show. Carl Michael von Hausswolf and his UK Ambassador will give an audience to subjects and tourists.

This exhibition has been generously supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Resonance FM.

Hu Xiangqian, Wang Wei and Liu Chuang are participating in Gasworks International Residency Programme between January and March 2007 developing projects for the exhibition. This exhibition and residency project is the first of a three-year project supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.