Viking Funeral's Dark Days Ahead at Fredric Snitzer Gallery (VIDEOS)
|Photo by Rob Goyanes|
They create everything from video and art books to sound installations. And they also perform as a band at venues like Churchill's Pub. Though they work across mediums, their overall aesthetic is always dark, it's at times aggressive, is and occasionally playful. Their show at the Snitzer is a tight and excellent display of their history and work. Click on for the video proof.
Upon entering, one is met immediately with sound. Several amps emit droning guitar tones and what sounded like looped industrial noises, each amp playing separately but creating a single soundscape. Viking Funeral is very much about music: previous works have included a room with scattered musical instruments and homemade flyers littered about. The sounds are just as central with Dark Age Ahead, but just as prominent are the visuals.
A video collage of disturbing faces, images of flesh and limbs, and creepy neon lights are met with defaced images of cute and innocent puppies, kitties, and dolphins. A strong tinge of Miami is present as is the hyperlink culture detritus of the internet. The white walls are graffitied with floor-to-ceiling cartoon characters and fatalistic, depressive messages. The work is disturbing, and schizoid. But it has a sense of humor -- the type of humor one feels a little uncomfortable laughing at.
Dark Age Ahead takes its name and some creative thrust from a book by sociologist Jane Jacobs, who writes about the erosion of social institutions and culture in the information age. She writes about the desire to consume eating away at the ideals of community, education, and family, and discusses the amnesia suffered as a result of this insatiable consumption. Viking Funeral plays with this idea, but uses the decaying output of computers, televisions, and magazines to create a gripping, immersive space for people to gather in.
Though some at the opening last night seemed turned off or weirded out, most were receptive to the shady, hallucinogenic mix of sight and sound. If this sounds up your dark alley, you can catch Viking Funeral this Saturday at 8pm, performing live at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery, or see the show on its own until November 5th. Drag yourself from behind your assorted screens and glimpse the Dark Age Ahead.
-- Rob Goyanes
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