The Glue Society Debuts Brexit-Inspired Installation at London Design Festival

Internationally acclaimed creative collective The Glue Society today debuted its latest installation at the London Design Festival 2019: the Brexit-inspired piece “What Were We Thinking?” This large-scale installation inverts the familiar mechanics of a forklift, depicting a conspicuously airborne machine overwhelmed in its attempt to raise a wooden crate. The piece will be featured as part of the Festival’s London Design Fair, and accessible to the general public, located at the Old Truman Brewery complex from September 16-23.

 

“What Were We Thinking?” engages visitors through the untenable choreography captured in situ between these two common objects of function, on an overwhelming scale. Its monolithic presence, towering on a 6m-high vertical plane, highlights the symbiotic yet lifeless existence of both objects. Both inspired by and commenting on Brexit, the piece conveys the conflict’s immutable nature and the public’s sense of frustration and wasted energy. “What Were We Thinking?” is also an impressive feat of design and engineering, with four tons of concrete strategically distributed within the box in order to hold up the life-sized forklift – all freestanding, without having to drill into the ground beneath. The piece took one month to design and three to build.

 

“Brexit has been so all-consuming and so destructive, with this inescapable sense of helplessness. We at The Glue Society have a track record of being obsessed with machinery and industrial tools, and we wanted to explore the political and societal repercussions from Brexit through that lens. The inverted forklift is the perfect metaphor for how many Brits feel in this moment, and we think the absurdity in the physical structure of this piece will help these feelings resonate.”

 

The Glue Society is a ten-member art and directing collective whose work explores the functional relationships between machine and object, often veiled in humor, in pursuit of fundamental truths about humanity and progress. Its projects have been exhibited at Miami Art Basel, Pulse New York, and Art & About Australia, among others. In addition, The Glue Society is behind some of the ad industry’s most-awarded experiential projects, having earned a Cannes Titanium, five Cannes Grands Prix, and dozens of other awards for groundbreaking work such as ANZ Bank’s GAYTM installations and the viral multi-platform “Until We All Belong” campaign for Airbnb. Over the last 21 years, the collective has received worldwide acclaim for being “the experts at things which haven’t been done before,” according to Creativity Online.

 

The striking 6m-high installation inverts the familiar mechanics of a forklift, depicting a conspicuously airborne machine overwhelmed in its attempt to raise a wooden crate. Both inspired by and commenting on Brexit, the piece conveys the conflict’s immutable nature and the public’s sense of frustration and wasted energy. It is also an impressive feat of design and engineering, with four tons of concrete strategically distributed within the box in order to hold up the life-sized forklift – all freestanding.

The Glue Society is represented by Biscuit Filmworks in the UK and US, and Revolver/Will O’Rourke in Australia and New Zealand.

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