Fitzrovia seems to be the destination of choice for galleries looking to move into the heart of London. The latest gallery to follow this trend is EB&Flow who have re-christened themselves as Berloni and moved from Shoreditch into a larger space just off Oxford Street.
Their inaugural exhibition is an ambitious takeover by the Berlin collective Artists Anonymous who have transformed the gallery into a five room experience over three floors.
Entering the gallery makes you question whether you’ve stepped inside at all as we found ourselves standing in a landscaped garden complete with a bark chip covered pathway and a bridge over a trickling stream. Yet contrasting with this peaceful scene, the walls on either side are covered with graffiti featuring night elves and cobras – a sign that not all is as quaint as it seems.
Downstairs is a child’s bedroom that appears all colourful and innocent until you notice a doll laying face first on the floor next to the bed, a wallpaper pattern that resembles hospital scans and most disturbingly a video camera on a tripod aimed squarely at the child’s bed.
Wandering through a kitchen with an unexplained large axe on a shelf leads through an open air courtyard into another building that would feel quite homely if it weren’t for the creepy paintings of freakish individuals on the walls and an upturned chair. The darkest moment is spotting a shelf full of DVD cases all with names on them – begging the question of whether we’ve stumbled into a paedophile’s home.
This is an unnerving exhibition and one that gave us goosebumps as we wandered through it alone. Visitors will struggle to forget their visit and this is what makes it such a powerful art installation.
Artists Anonymous: System of a Dawn is on at Berloni, 63 Margaret St, W1W 8SW until 14 December. Admission is free.