Cooke Latham Gallery presents 'Fani Parali: Children of the Future'

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Cooke Latham Gallery presents 'Fani Parali: Children of the Future'
Installation view of Fani Parali ‘Children of the Future’ at Cooke Latham Gallery, and performance documentation by Mischa Haller. © Fani Parali, courtesy Cooke Latham Gallery.

LONDON.- In her ambitious new exhibition for Cooke Latham, Fani Parali invites viewers into an alternate realm, a space designed for and inhabited solely by children. Through this inversion of our own reality Parali, like all truly great purveyors of science fiction, not only looks ahead reflecting upon the challenges facing the next generation but also invites critical analysis of our societal status quo.

Parali has crafted a new soundscape by channelling multiple voices, using recordings of both professional singers and children to create a call-and-response between the 'machine' of the gallery and the 'children' who inhabit it. A raw look into the increasingly symbiotic relationship between humans and machines, Children of the Future addresses the ramifications of unbridled technological progress on future generations. Though an implicit sense of terror permeates this union, the audio-work concurrently presents moments of harmony and uplift - a nod to the myriad possible futures that technology presents, and the possible redemption it could hold for our species.

Two performers lip-sync the haunting duet of a child with a machine; an adult performer opens their mouth, and the voice of a child emerges. The performers, like the sculptures are adorned with plaster casts that both support and confine their movements. Parali's work often focuses upon caregiving, with the fragile interconnectivity of care systems and our societal responsibility for one another. In 'Children of the Future' the metal armatures stand for both the endurance but also the limitations of the care systems we have collectively formulated.

Throughout the exhibition there is a sense of threshold spaces, of portals to alternate realities that sit, cheek-by-jowl, within the space of the gallery. The giant sculpture that sits centrally in the gallery has the proportions of a door, within it a welded shape holds a tense vertical line, curiously like that of a tuning fork. Everywhere there is the sense of spaces beyond what we see, of energy and sound being channelled and the possible formulation of identity beyond the body's limited presence. In entering a space that is designed and occupied by children the viewer is invited to question whether children are, by virtue, more receptive to these threshold spaces than us. Whether in us, the 'adult', this child also lurks, willing to acknowledge alternate realities. Alternate futures.

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