Last night, Wynwood was abuzz with openings, including one titled Dark Age Ahead, a pop-macabre multimedia installation at Fredric Snitzer Gallery. It was the work of local duo Viking Funeral, who oscillates between being "artists" and "musicians."
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
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