Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Faile x Bast 'Deluxx Fluxx Arcade' @ Summerhall, Edinburgh!

So some of the biggest names in Street Art have held their first major exhibition in Scotland and its pretty special! I first heard about Faile and Bast a few years ago via Pictures on Walls who specialise in limited edition prints from some of the biggest names in street art and graffiti. You know those Banksy prints that people sell for £5000 and up, PoW are the ones who printed them and used to sell them for £200 a pop, just wish I'd actually liked some of them but hey ho. Along with Banksy they create editions for Invader, 3D, Pete Fowler and Faile & Bast

It was perusing these printed editions that brought Faile to my attention, their retro comic book styled graphics instantly stood out. At a time when many were simply appropriating and recreating already iconic images Faile seemed to be taking a different approach not only recreating but adding their own twist, subverting the images and creating something new and yet old. The same can be said for Bast, taking iconic Disney characters like Dopey and creating something recognisable but also a bit creepy. So it makes sense that these three powerhouses of paste ups should join forces and the "Deluxx Fluxx Arcade" is the result!

Bringing a real slice of Americana to the Edinburgh Fringe, Deluxx Fluxx is a tripped out adventure into the most coveted of gamer places, The Arcade Hall! Arcade culture might be on the wain a little but its still an ingrained part of the American culture, think about John Connors escape from the Terminator and films like King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters help to highlight how serious the arcade life can be! The arcade represents a place of wonder still, even now I dream of finding myself an adult with a childs mind, working for a toy company and setting up my own pin ball machine in my apartment ala BIG!

Deluxx Fluxx brings all of that wonder but filtered through the warped minds of its creators. Each game has been custom built and creates a level of interaction between art work and viewer that is simple and yet so effective. I spent about ten minutes trying to uncover the layers of a picture on one game, another involved making a 1950's cartoon girl do hand plants with a skateboard to avoid a shark circling the deserted island shes stranded on. If it sounds a little surreal then thats because it is! Its like walking into another universe of high visual stimulation and content overload. The neon foosball room through the back is like something from Batman Forever with its neon prints adorning every surface. Yet with so much work on display it doesn't feel like a single print is out of place. Every piece seems to compliment the next so while there's a lot to take in the show isn't overpowering. Along with the arcade Faile are showing a series of new works which have been finished during their time at Summerhall and are being displayed for the first time.  

The arcade can found in the basement of Edinburgh's Summerhall, a rather incredible building which currently houses a ton of exhibitions including works from Gary Baseman which ill cover later and a large scale installation by Antonio O'Connell. With so many great shows making up their summer programme Summerhall is a must visit spot if your in Edinburgh for the festival!