Artist duo Seripop and Rob Churm both produce music in the underground music scenes of harsh noise rock and punkish improv, but they also produce drawings and screenprinted posters to promote the music of their projects and that of others. This exhibition brings together their rich history of graphic imagery, poster art, graffitismo and the wild subconscious to a sometimes visionary, other times traumatic, effect.
Seripop is Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau who produce posters, prints and t-shirts for their band AIDS Wolf and hundreds of other bands on the American music scene. Taking a scatological and psychedelic intensity that sits within the warped lineage of Sture Johannesson, Saul Steinberg and Peter Saul, they evoke the feeling of a world seen through the eyes of an acid-loving dreamer. Often their art blends a graffiti style with that of underground comics to create engrossing images that seems to shout playfully at you. In others you are drawn into a more fiendish side of their psyche. What seems to be a giant ape/alien crossbreed urinating over a cityscape (pictured above) might shock you, but not half as much as the sea of bleeding, severed cocks. The latter was fittingly produced for a Halloween gig, although, as I pointed out to Chloe, a triangular area of red implied a Christmas tree for me. Looking at these trippy works can get you thinking in strange, tortured ways. Actually, that should be nightmarish in this case.
What seems to be a giant ape/alien crossbreed urinating over a cityscape might shock you, but not half as much as the sea of bleeding, severed cocks.
The black and white creations of Churm seem to take all the unfinished doodles we ever started on school desks and meshes them into a patchwork whole, or brings them into strict order of squares and rectangles. Combined with mauled cartoon characters this fluctuation between garish complexity and more direct simplicity leaves a dark imprint in the mind. Perhaps this is because they are all black and white — you begin to imagine colours bleeding through as though something has been hidden in the shadows. Placed in a room with the colourful tones of Seripop, Chrum’s works are like sinister cousins lurking in the corners. They make a twisted family for an exhibition that you will want to get to know — I found myself wandering between them all picking up on the intricacies not immediately seen on first study. The only frustrating thing is you will be hard pressed to be able to recall it all afterwards…except the sea of dead cocks (one of Chloe’s favourites), that is.
The Seripop / Rob Churm exhibition runs until Sunday, January 28th at Whitechapel Project Space, open Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm – 6pm. For details of this and other exhibitions, visit www.whitechapelprojectspace.org.