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This exhibition explores the influence and fan cultures of Metal Gear Solid, one of the most popular video game franchises of all time.

Originally initiated by developer Hideo Kojima in 1987, Metal Gear Solid's enigmatic story has been told over the course of three decades through a distinct play-style based upon techniques of secrecy, concealment and stealth. Exploring the unnerving possibilities of biogenetic cloning and military espionage; off-shore para-states and the formation of private task forces charged with seizing power from the world’s collapsing democracies, its once bizarre mythos feels disturbingly appropriate to the world in 2021.

Metal Gear has spurred an international fandom that seeks to interpret and reappropriate its speculative narratives. From memes of the game’s distinct graphics finding their way into the culture wars leading up to the 2016 US presidential election, to close-readings of the game’s prescient themes of behavioural manipulation, gamification, unstable truths and geopolitical subterfuge, Metal Gear has increasingly come to predict and reflect our unstable global political climate.

This exhibition brings together a group of artists whose early encounters with the game’s unique vision and poetics continue to influence their world-views and artistic practices. Through performance, sculpture, film, and an education program for young people, the exhibiting artists explore Metal Gear’s rich yet often troubling themes as opportunities for thinking through positions of decolonial critique, ludic defiance, and anti-fascism.

Art galleryLondonConceptualFilm & video

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