milton-keynes,-uk

Hariton Pushwagner, Jobkill, 1990, acrylic and ink on paper, 67 1/2 x 107". From the series “Apocalypse Frieze,” 1973–93.

Hariton Pushwagner

MK Gallery

Hariton Pushwagner, Jobkill, 1990, acrylic and ink on paper, 67 1/2 x 107". From the series “Apocalypse Frieze,” 1973–93.

Visitors were introduced to Hariton Pushwagner’s exhibition “Soft City” by an enormous, open mouth, with graphic pink lips and protruding scarlet tongue, painted around the gallery’s entrance. But the happy Pop appeal of Mouth, 2012, was deceptive. Inside, the tone changed markedly. On a large wall projection, an animation opens with a clock ticking; an alarm rings, a couple awakens. They kill the alarm and take a pill, then go to work in a metropolis called Soft City. Later, the sun sets, they go to sleep, and then it begins all over again. They join a seemingly infinite number of workers, living in identical flats, punching identical clocks; the piece evokes a nightmare vision of modern life in which all aspects of existence resemble factory work. Displayed alongside Soft City Animation, 2010, ensconced in thick black display cases, were the 154 careworn pages of Pushwagner’s

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