Emily Pope, Poison Pen
January 21st - February 25th
Ginny on Frederick
91-93 Charterhouse St
I’ve absolutely fucking had it. Officially. Detox said that originally. I know who Detox is because in the pandemic I watched Drag Race from the beginning (when they had the really bad filter, which was like an omen for Instagram) all the way through to season 14. I also watched all of All Stars; Alyssa Edwards: Dancing Queen, Drag Race Philippines, Drag Race UK, the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Potomac, Beverly Hills and two series of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip. That is X episodes, and X hours, and to top it all off last night I watched the Sensations Documentary about the YBAs on the BBC and in the second episode there's a clip of John Major saying decayed, instead of decade, by accident. I’ve got lingering motion sickness from watching all of it.
So, I am now an expert in episodes, and I hate humanity. My mental health is appalling. I haven’t been running in over a year (be transparent - two years). I could give a tutorial in subjects like how to pay your tax bill with a monzo overdraft, how to people please your way into chaos and misery, how to order too many takeaways (specifically from somewhere called PIZZA HOT 4 U), and tell you next to nothing about the history of experimental feminist video art from the 1980’s until now, particularly not uses of karaoke within this niche genre. A couple of sentences in this paragraph are lies, I’ll leave you to work out which.
I’ve been thinking a lot (remember, be transparent - a bit) about karaoke. Karaoke as a metaphor for what I perceive to be a rather desperate societal channelling of a late 90’s experience of success - the confident go getters go getting, and the farce that this is when it is happening in probably the worst economic situation for 40 years, and the karaoke which I did in living rooms in the pandemic with friends. I’ve also been writing a lot of letters to politicians, which oscillate between two distinct styles: poison pen and maniacal praise.
I am learning that there is creativity within dissent, start again; I hate the word creativity. There is a pulse within dissent. It’s easy to feel like the opinions we hold, sorry, I hold, don’t speak for everyone, and the life I lead do/does not fall into the category of dissent, does not fall away from the mainstream, but the mainstream, despite its frantic and scrambling inclusion policies, does not advocate for systemic change, just policy plastered over toxic, vowed to not use these buzzwords use brain use brain not toxic, policy plastered over uncaring, harmful, profit driven structures aka: capitalism. And remember, you can’t fight capitalism with money. I’m tied up with the meaning of success. I want a successful general strike. It seems like everyone is out on strike but me - how do you strike when you are self- employed? I feel desperate, desperate to find the class consciousness and the intersectional empathy in an environment so seemingly surface, I am not afraid to beg for it, I know it must exist.
Emily Pope (b.1990) lives and works in London, Her research explores a history of experimental contemporary broadcast media with a focus on humour and satire, feminism, political rhetoric + class politics and she is excited by challenging dominant power structures. Recent solo and group presentations include: Sundy London (2022), Wysing Arts Centre (2022), The Box Museum, Plymouth (2021) VO Curations (2020), Tate Britain (2019), Peak Gallery, London , Paradise Works, Manchester , The Royal Standard, Liverpool, Serf, Leeds , Hester Gallery, NYC (2018) VI VII, Oslo , HA HA Gallery, Southampton , Auto Italia, London , Turf Projects, Lon don .