Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe
Scenario in the Shade
Kunsthal Charlottenborg presents the first solo show in Scandinavia of the NYC-based art duo Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe. The exhibition Scenario in the Shade is an architectural and cinematic scenario based on the youth subcultures of the San San Metroplex, an urban corridor that exists along the coast of California, USA.
Freeman & Lowe’s immersive environmental installations play on ideas of hypertrophic urbanism, community, ritual and psychopharmacology. Youth Cultures in advanced, techno-centric civilisations manifest their identities through evolving, highly specific styles, recreational activities, commodities, slang, apparel and drugs. Scenario in the Shade is a spatial articulation of the habitats of six youth subcultures of San San.
The world of San San originates from an idea put forth by futurist Herman Kahn in his 1967 book “The Year 2000”. He speculated that the coastal area between San Diego and San Francisco would grow into one giant metropolis. He called this region simply ”San San”. This never happened. Freeman & Lowe have taken this veritable fiction and built a parallel world that is articulated through a variety of objects, ephemera, architectural scenarios and a trilogy of films.
In Scenario in the Shade, Freeman & Lowe transform the north wing of Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s galleries into a sequence of interiors that begins with an entrance through a Porta-Potty that leads into a rundown Victorian-cold-water-flat and fans out into a warren of makeshift dwellings for the various youth micro-cultures. Each room is referred to by the name of a specific group: The Shade, The Fort, Phansigar Gokudo, Bamboo Union, King Gordon and Disco Creeps. The environments include a shantytown labyrinth, a hybrid room-size computer, a neon black market and anime arcade constructed of collaged beach towels. The passage through these interiors can feel like an uncanny cross between an architectural ruin and a simulated theatrical world.
The installation has previously been shown at the Istanbul Biennale 2017 curated by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Scenario in the Shade was made possible by the generous support of Red Bull Arts NY.
Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe
Since 2007, Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe have been collaboratively drawing on a series of historical and fictional narratives to create large-scale, mazelike architectural installations. Their explorations of architecture as immersive sculpture are realized by reimagining dystopian visions, psychotic episodes, and the workings of drug-related subcultures. Their joint practice has led to solo exhibitions at Art Basel: Basel and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, as well as numerous group exhibitions worldwide. In 2018, Kunsthal Charlottenborg presents the first solo show in Scandinavia with the art duo featuring their site-specific large-scale dystopian installation, titled Scenario in the Shade.