Referring to the phenomenon of a ‘Near Death Experience’, Gardner Gray’s tableau recalibrates the simulacra of modernity alongside supernatural elements, to evoke a shifting paradigm away from fetishised objects and disembodied moods – to immanent rapture. The body of work centres on an exploration of the everyday incidents, labours and archetypes that constitute life now; pursuing an open-ended narrative composed by ubiquitous consumer products, stock imagery, somatic and psychological states, marked by brief memetic punchlines. Through these scenographies Gardner Gray attempts to probe our system of belief, staging pert encounters with the binary symbols that we read: seedy, respectable, educated, uneducated, subversive, conformist, real, imaginary, etc. She reveals the pervasive social maps for passing temporal judgement.
The eponymously titled play NDE (Near Death Experience) opens with the near death of a wounded soldier in an unspecified future World War. He finds himself in an out-of-body experience, travelling through scenes of his brief life. Puncturing the rhapsodic, the highfalutin themes are folded between the petty microaggressions of everyday modern life.
Performances of NDE will take place during during Frieze Week 2022:
Frieze Week evening: Monday 10 October, 6pm BST
Frieze Week matinée: Tuesday 11 October, 12pm BST
Runtime: 45 minutes