Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty


1 December 2017 - 3 February 2018
London, UK

Curated by Coline Milliard

Artists: Nathan Coley, Mimosa Echard, Simon Fujiwara, Sara Naim, Indrė Šerpytytė

At a time when the notion of belief is particularly fraught, Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty examines contemporary takes on some of the objects we turn to for meaning or solace. Pictures, screens, movies, and commodities are filtered here through formally abstract conceptual propositions, linked by a sense of indeterminacy. Taking its title from Nathan Coley’s eponymous grids of fairground lights, the exhibition brings together forms of image-making which – while redolent of an art history spanning from Byzantine icon painting to 20th-century avant-gardes – decidedly engage with the now. Which ‘now’ they specifically address, though, remains open to interpretation: is it the lure of gore, of entertainment, of luxury? The grisly spectacle of terrorism or the untapped riches of technological obsolescence? More than the objects themselves, what’s under scrutiny in Secular Icons is the act of looking, the dynamics driving our gaze, and the multitude of projections a collection of pieces so radically distinct encourages.

Installation photography by Peter Mallet/Parafin

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