Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present News from Nowhere, an exhibition of new works by Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret. This will be her second solo exhibition at the Hong Kong gallery.
The exhibition’s title derives from British polymath and socialist activist, William Morris’ 1890 novel of the same name, in which he imagines a utopian future liberated from systems of capitalism. Blending utopian socialism with science fiction, the narrative follows William Guest who, after returning home from a meeting of the Socialist League, wakes the next morning to find himself catapulted into the twenty-first century and into a world beyond all recognition. Following revolutionary upheaval, England, now called ‘Nowhere’, has become a humane socialist society in which all people live in equality. Yet just as quickly as he finds himself in this paradise, Guest is transplanted back to the nineteenth century where he resolves to make his dream of the future a reality of the Victorian social order. Perret’s practice directly references Morris, whose vision of a utopian future reflects the fictionalised women-only commune that has been central to her work for the past two decades. The Crystal Frontier explores the lives of an autonomous community who have abandoned Western neoliberal society for the remote desert of South Western Mexico, envisaged by the artist as a refuge from the ills of capitalism and patriarchal convention. Like Morris’ News from Nowhere, Perret’s project engages with the promise of an ideological agenda that promotes egalitarian human relationships.