Feels Like MemeplexTM
9 June – 29 July 2023
Feels Like MemeplexTM is a group show presented at KARST in Plymouth. The exhibition, initiated and including work by art collective Omsk Social Club and artist Joey Holder, is an evolution of MemeplexTM – originally shown at Seventeen, London. This latest iteration also features work by artists including Helen Chadwick, Ed Fornieles, Penny Goring and Viktor Timofeev. In their overview of the exhibition’s original concept, Omsk Social Club and Joey Holder write:
“MemeplexTM is two stories in one, the first explores the implementation of ideas, belief and conviction that occurs through memetic artefacts. In this case, they are political living memes that attach themselves to the host and eventually perform an action inspired from Cordyceps – a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects.”
Cordyceps have been nicknamed ‘zombie fungi’ for their perceived ability to take over the mind of the host. Within the Memeplex story, this ‘mind control’ aspect is alluded to as political thoughts and acts. Omsk Social Club and Joey Holder continue:
“The other part of the story explores the proven idea that the human body carries animal genes, and with contact this increases, questioning the human centric history of human as other to animal and provides context to the reader for a new type of animism riffing off Otherkin.”
This reference to ‘Otherkin’ – a subculture of people who identify as not entirely human – further emphasises the effort within Memeplex to place the non-human more closely alongside the human. Works presented reference secret papers, facility areas and video footage from this ‘rogue unit’, which together tell the story of an imagined, emergent ‘otherkin coding’ in place of declining human genetics.
This ambitious and widely reviewed exhibition originally took place in late 2021 when society was still in the grip of the legal, geographical and psychological restrictions of Covid-19. KARST will present Feels Like MemeplexTM, a related, but evolved, version of the exhibition.
It enacts a fictional story from a fragment of Omsk’s interactive online work The Wet Altar (2021), commissioned by Light Art Space. Of this new presentation, the artists write:
“The second iteration of MemeplexTM has been leaked through a rogue unit facility in Plymouth which, upon its discovery, has been opened to the public in a bid to provide transparent information about the last years of hospitalised meme manipulation.”
Participating artists include: Alex Bunn, Helen Chadwick, JM Churchill, Ed Fornieles, Penny Goring, Marguerite Humeau, Ville Kallio, Paul Laffoley and Viktor Timofeev. The exhibition has been led by Omsk Social Club and Joey Holder. Feels Like MemeplexTM is supported by Arts Council England, Goethe-Institut London,
Seventeen (London) and Williams & Hill Forwarding.
For more information, contact Tilly or Rachel at email@example.com.
MemeplexTM (2022) film still, Omsk Social Club
and Joey Holder. Photography by Stateless Studio.