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Brought together by their common interest in mimicry as a visual metaphor for the workings of society, Evy Jokhova (b1984) and Amelia Critchlow (b1972) have spent the past year communicating – sometimes face to face, sometimes by post, sometimes by social media – sending found objects and sharing ideas, making suggestions and trialling new methods. The result is this curious and deliberately absurd collaborative installation at the Westminster Reference Library: a waiting room space by Jokhova, comprising balance-challenging foam stools; a huge, draping corporate flag; two parts of a triptych based on the British Museum’s The Three Graces; and a strange and materially intriguing totem-cum-console providing a lectern for an iPad, on which an eight-minute film of the artist carving a temple out of cheese – House for a Mouse – plays on a loop. The walls of this “foyer” are adorned with Critchlow’s evacuated collages – pages from books and magazines, where images have been erased or cut away, “the detritus of popular culture”, eerily unknown yet uncannily familiar.
Both artists are interested in social structures and narratives – and where they – and we – stand in these narratives. Through their work, they both enact and deconstruct mimesis – from the Greek mimos, meaning an imitator or actor, or source of mimesis – to consider the architecture, physical and metaphorical, of social order, from antiquity to the present day.
Amelia Critchlow & Evy Jokhova: Mimesis
Westminster Reference Library, London
9 December 2015 – 2 January 2016
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY