The Institute of Contemporary Arts is to host an exhibition dedicated to Netherlands-based designers, artist and filmmakers Metahaven. The show, called Version History, will open at the London gallery in October.
Founded in in 2007 by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven’s work uses visual media to discuss political and social issues like information democracy, geopolitics, corporate structures and austerity. Its graphic style, which often apes dated visual language from the corporate sphere including drop shadows, garish colours and Microsoft fonts, has fuelled a whole movement of imitators.
In 2010 the studio collaborated in creating a new visual identity for WikiLeaks (including scarves and T-shirts), in 2015 it made a video for electronic musician Holly Herndon’s track Home, and has published numerous books, including Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Memes, Design and Politics, Uncorporate Identity and Black Transparency: The Right to Know in the Age of Mass Surveillance. Since 2015, the studio has largely focused on moving-image work, which often sits between fiction and documentary.
The upcoming exhibition centres around a new filmic work co-commissioned and produced by the ICA. Called Eurasia (Questions on Happiness), the large-scale video work is part folk tale, part sci-fi story and part poem, the studio says. It was shot in the Southeastern Urals and Macedonia and explores “neo-medieval interface politics, incompatible timescales and reversals of linear duration”. Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) will be accompanied by 2016 film Information Skies and this year’s Hometown.
Version History runs at the ICA from 3 October 2018 to 6 January 2019.