We are living an era in which almost all exhibitions of modern art have digital elements in them. These elements are not something new, but date back to the 1960s and 70s, when artists started to make more noticeable changes to the traditional artistic techniques they had been using. Instead of just watching a painting, you would be submerged in it, through a video or a multi-sensory experience.
Stanley Kubrick as one of the most innovative film directors of all time was very much influenced by art. In Barry Lyndon, for example, the outstanding beautiful photography will remind you of paintings from the 18th century. And 2001: A Space Odyssey is a sci-fi masterpiece that changed the genre forever, using visual effects that were revolutionary at the time it was filmed.
Kubrick’s heritage is still present when we see pop images of Sue Lyon, characterised as Lolita, or erotic pictures that remind us of his posthumous work, the polemical Eyes Wide Shut. It is for this reason that a group of artists from different artistic fields wanted to commemorate his legacy by displaying together in a contemporary artistic exhibition at Somerset House called Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick.
The exhibition included projections, sculptures, paintings, models… The aim was to put together an exhibition that displayed the influence of Kubrick´s work on contemporary art through different artistic elements. It also showed controversial or even bizarre items, in order to provoke a reaction from the audience, even if it was not a positive one.
In Toby Dye’s installation The Corridor you could see four different videos displayed on four screens. The videos had visual references to Kubrick´s films and, at some point, the characters met through the screens, creating in the viewer the feeling of being part of the plot.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Colbert’s Odyssey 01 mixed different features we often see in Kubrick´s pictures: eroticism and futurism. Seamus Farrell’s Tempest in (a) glass/ a diaphanous arrangement was described by the artist as “a swim in the Kubrick aquarium”. Through various glass objects that were engraved with the titles of Kubrick´s films, Farrell lets the viewer judge if it is art or craft.
Doug Foster’s Infinite is a video of an endless tunnel that makes you feel hypnotized by the images on the screen. Inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Foster collaborated with the musician Philip Sheppard on the soundtrack’s musical arrangement, the final result an absolutely fascinating experience.
This exhibition is another good example of how art has changed over the last decade, letting the viewer become part of something the artists created. Kubrick was a visionary and his legacy in contemporary art is still present today.
Lucía Vázquez Bonome
Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick ran from 6 July – 24 August 2016 at Somerset House. For more information please click here.
Lucia Vázquez Bonome lives and works in London. She holds a degree in Advertising and an MA in Creative Advertising, both issued in Spain. She has undertaken two screenwriting courses at Morley College in London. While studying advertising, she discovered her passion for writing which translated into her professional life: since 2014 she has written articles for the website ‘The State of the Arts’ where she write reviews on theatre plays, movies, books, art galleries and interviewa artists belonging to different artistic fields. Her love for storytelling led her to compile a collection of short stories into a children’s book entitled “Un Verano Mágico”(A magical summer) which was published in Spain and has been translated to English.
Featured image Scene from The Shining (1980), Stanley Kubrick