15 July – 11 September 2021
Huxley-Parlour are excited to present the fourth artist to occupy our project space – Kara Chin. Fountain of Youth will imagine a robotic cult, where robots worship coffee cups and human corpses suspended in cryogenic freezing chambers. The mixed-media installation will take a form of a futurist tomb featuring three new and bespoke works dedicated to this imagined religion.
Chin takes imaginative departure from transhumanist ideologies in which humans can – and should – investigate the radical possibilities of merging with technology. Principally, Chin is interested in cryogenic ‘life preserving’ facilities, which allow clients to freeze their own bodies after death in the hopes that one day the science will have developed to reanimate them. Chin imagines a post-rapture future in which artificial intelligence has been trained to tend to these cryogenic chambers before rebirth.
Fountain of Youth will comically hinge on the dual meaning of the word ‘urn’ – both a traditional receptacle for coffee, and a receptacle for ashes. Using a mixture of synthetic and virtual reliquaries, Chin will imagine the coffee cup mistakenly deified by these futuristic robots as a religious symbol for rebirth. The exhibition playfully questions the utopian potential of artificial intelligence while while also linking contemporary ‘wellness and lifestyle’ culture to a pervasive, and fundamentally human, fear of death.