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Work / Art

Mushpit explores social media anxiety in new exhibition Interiority Complex

For one night only, Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts have expanded the satirical pages of their self-published zine Mushpit into a physical art installation held at the Galeria Melissa on Thursday 10 August. Titled Interiority Complex, the event aims to explore the issues and uncertainties surrounding social media anxieties.

Centred around the theme of “self-surveillance and the body online,” Interiority Complex taps into these complexities — which have erupted over the recent years — through a series of artworks presented by Hannah Perry, fashion designer Elliss Solomon and video artist Natalia Stuyk. “It’s a riff on the anxiety and inferiority complexes that social media tends to induce. It’s so prevalent and all-consuming that it’s become an extension of our actual identity,” Charlotte tells It’s Nice That. “Cast your mind back to five years ago pre-Instagram and how different our interactions were. For this installation we really wanted to explore how deeply social media has affected our online and offline perceptions of self.”

All three artists in one way or another open up dialogue around this relationship between technology and how we choose to identify ourselves online. Hannah Perry was an “obvious choice” due to her work portraying the “effects of technology and how the constant feed informs modern, complex identities,” Charlotte says. “Natalia’s work explicitly references this too, in her film she collects the imprint of this hyper-connected experience to create a bot character. It’s very immersive but comforting at the same time. Elliss’ work had always been something we admired and we were interested in working with a fashion designer questioning the positioning of the female form on this very large scale. Ethically, her ethos is very similar to both ours and Melissa’s too.”

In collaboration with Brazilian shoe brand Melissa, and newly formed Melissa Collective, the installation resonates with their cruelty-free ethos that sits “close to the hearts” of the Mushpit duo. “[Melissa has been] on our wish list to work with for a long time and to create an experience like this was just so brilliant. Its products are very sensory and we like to think we’ve continued that throughout the exhibition,” Charlotte explains.

Alongside a display of hanging curtains and an enchanting backdrop filled with dimly-lit hues, Melissa’s latest Flygirl collection will be styled in conjunction with the artwork and signature Mushpit aesthetic. The printed curtains — which rework a traditionally feminine domestic sphere — are just a fragment of the what’s in store for the audience. 3D rendered videos; a limited edition large-format zine photographed by Dexter Lander; various interiors and a majestic, modern and powerful atmosphere; there’s no doubt you’ll enter this realm of absolute chaos thinking that it’s just a demonstration, or mere reflection, of what we’re seeing on our screens.

Don’t fret — this is intentional. As a homage to the craziness that social media brings and the recklessness its presence can cause on our minds and bodies, Mushpit reminds us all that there’s always the calm at the end of every storm. “Our ending artwork states ‘everything might be ok, one day’ and I think we like to believe it will. It’s about tackling the myriad of anxieties we all experience in a space where we can all communicate and share,” says Charlotte. “There is calm in the frenzy of it all basically.”

Interiority Complex will be exhibiting at the Galeria Melissa, London, on Thursday 10 August from 7pm.

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex

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Mushpit: Interiority Complex