“What if some things do last forever?” asks Nellie Eden, writer, editor and guest curator of Galleria Melissa’s latest collective show, Forever Now, that’s set to take over the London gallery space this week featuring the work of four artists whose work centres around the themes of nostalgia and futurism.
Drawing inspiration from Melissa’s Possession sandal (more widely known as “the jelly shoe” ever since their 1997 debut), the exhibition explores the terrifying idea of living forever. Eden notes, “living forever is an appalling idea, but one that I like to consider, and one I think the beauty industry is ravenously chasing. We’re living longer, aided by tech, surgery, medicine and machines”.
The innovators of today selected by Eden – Shygirl, James Massiah, Daniel Swan and Esmay Wagemans – each embody both nostalgia and futurism in their work; committed to looking forward, as opposed to looking back. For the exhibition, each artist created something in response to Eden’s question.
Poet James Massiah, has crafted an audio piece from clips, lost and found (old songs from raves, voice notes and recordings that weave together to create a patchwork quilt of sound, intended to transport you); visual artist Daniel Swan, has created an abstract video exploring memory with a gelatine aesthetic (focusing on shifting shapes and half-seen faces that look at memory and the inner-workings of the imagination).
Meanwhile London musician Shygirl, will be performing a live set (that no doubt showcases her closer-to-art-than-pop new-wave style), wearing a piece designed by Dutch designer Esmay Wagemans, whose work sees her experiment with silicone, plastic, rubber, latex and resin, while exploring the digitalisation and technologisation of society, and how this affects the human body.
The exhibition is open to the public on 24-27th May at London’s Galleria Melissa