Taking your first step into the muddy catacombs of The Crypt feels like travelling back further than the turmoil of the Brexit Vote in June 2016. The location and vibe evokes well trodden war tunnels of WW2 and finding a family in bunk beds around any corner would be no surprise.
The timeless atmosphere is fitting, because most of the message here is portrayed as posters, newspapers and pamphlets. Indeed you can view 70 editions of both tabloid and broadsheet press from that week’s events at a pop-up library in the centre of the show. Samuel Ewan Roberts takes this medium to the extreme in No News Is Good News / The Newspaper Is The Spiritual Food Of The People. He has taken a copy of Metro and Evening Standard and whited out everything except the advertising, each page betraying the real purpose behind these titles.
In Bitter, Dr D, reimagines point of sale propaganda with his Evening Standrd (sic) placard proclaiming “THINGS CAN ONLY GET BITTER”. Heath Kane’s Second Class masks the queen’s face with a gurning Theresa May making us question which alter ego actually has the power. Jason and Sharon’s Quiet British Accent echo the final words of King George V with their iconography for the exhibition proclaiming Bugger Brexit.
The variety of work here is immense and impressive. Sharing the hashtag “Take Back Control Of The Press”, around 30 of Britain’s most political artists exhibit here which makes it hard to document throughly in this space. However, if a hybrid of Spitting Image meets Punch appeals to you, it is well worth exploring the media’s take on the EU referendum regardless of which side of the fence you stand.
Take Back Control runs 14th – 24th March 2019 at The Crypt Gallery, Euston Road, London NW1 (you’ll find the entrance in Duke’s Road at the side of the church). Admission is free.