In his new installation, devised especially for Camden Arts Centre, Jonathan Baldock (b. Pembury, UK) explores contemporary ‘primitivism’ to create a darkly humorous world in which his works are cast as characters in an alternate reality. Borrowing its title from Orwell’s dystopian future fable, ‘1984’, Facecrime meshes together ceramics, basketry, hand-spun yarn, textiles and sound, through precariously stacked, monolithic ceramic columns that crowd and teeter through the gallery space.
Inspired by ancient Syrian cuneiform-inscribed tablets, Baldock pays homage to an alternative history of clay as a tool of communication that defiantly stands the test of time.
Bringing early human script into dialogue with the fastest growing contemporary language, emoji, Baldock explores the modes and materials of communication employed by humans across time and cultures – from antiquity to the modern day. Facecrime evokes an absurd and unsettling ruin of the future, where the elusive, slippery, inscrutability of language becomes something irrepressible, vital and alive.