Brave New World

– A dismal future that has already arrived…
at DOX in Prague!

An extensive new exhibition entitled BRAVE NEW WORLD, which opened in September in Prague at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, compares famous dystopian visions of the future as described in the novels of Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), George Orwell (1984), and Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), with the current social situation. The works of over twenty artists from around the world who deal with topics such as social monitoring, consumerism, and the world of the media bear the same warning message. Alas, they refer to a future that has already arrived.

The authors of Brave New World (1932), 1984 (1949), and Fahrenheit 451 (1953) wanted above all to galvanize readers and point out possible future threats. In his warning against the control of individuals based on psychological manipulation, fear, and a total absence of privacy, George Orwell presciently predicted the perfection of today’s surveillance systems. In the 1930s, Aldous Huxley saw a fundamental threat in technological intervention leading to the implementation of a social caste system, and in the 1950s, Ray Bradbury predicted the victory of a supersocial massmedia culture over a society that recognizes the value of books.
The first part of the exhibition, entitled “Life in a Cage”, is inspired by George Orwell’s novel 1984 and its dismal vision of life in a dictatorship. The photographs, paintings, installations, and three-metre statues of dictators in this part of the exhibition reflect the ideological propaganda, fear, and terror infected by twentieth-century totalitarian regimes that were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions. At the same time, this part of the exhibition reminds us that even today, in the twenty-first century, there are still countries where Orwell’s vision is reality.

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