What does Black Mirror mean?

The Saatchi Gallery’s new exhibition will be holding up a dark mirror to the world with its curated collection of works from artists including Jessica Craig-Martin, Wendy Mayer, Scott King, and many, many more.

Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire is not linked to the Netflix series.

The TV show’s writer Charlie Brooker was inspired by the lyrics of an Arcade Fire song and also the effect of a switched off phone display which creates a dark reflection.

Saying this, the phrase Black Mirror has become come into common parlance as a term referring to all things satirical and dystopian.

Both the exhibition and Brooker’s dystopian anthology drama explore the world with a darker and potentially pessimistic slant.

Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to artist James Howard, whose work will be displayed at the exhibition, about his thoughts on satire as well as the notion of Black Mirror.

Howard creates his pieces by manipulating images from the internet in Photoshop and juxtaposing pictures to derive meaning, which he terms “the schizo-core”.

The artist was a former teen hacker, who broke into his school’s website his younger years and now creates art from images on the dark web and spam.

He explained: “You will see saccharine sweet sunsets with overly familiar grinning dentist’s and doctors with unusual texts that feels like it’s being written by an unknown race – it could be alien.


“Things which feel like may be coming from vices, which also aligns it with social satire too.

“So you might feel like you’re looking at something familiar from unregulated websites, scams, things that prey on people’s insecurities and needs and desires.

“So it’s about flowing to desire through people and through the universe.”

He went on to say: “If people want to use what I’m doing as their thing to hold up and look at the world as a filter or as a strange mirror or something filter the light through, then they can and I hope it helps them on their own missions to do that. They can use it as a looking glass if they want.

“Like any looking glass, maybe you see something of yourself or something of what your future might be but it depends completely on the person looking.”


How to get tickets for the Black Mirror art exhibition

While you wait for season five of Black Mirror to hit Netflix, why not visit the Saatchi exhibition for more food for thought on satire.

Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire will be running from September 28 until January 13, 2019.

Admission is free to all of the exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery, which displays contemporary art.

The exhibition will feature collage, caricatures, photography and installation with the aim to show how satire can provide light relief but also offers unsettling commentary on our world.


Other artists whose work can be seen include Turner Prize nominee Richard Billingham, who has created “squalid realism” in which he creates art through this unflinching photographs of poverty.

Polish artist Aleksandra Mir brings a new meaning to fake news thanks to her parodies of newspapers which she draws using child-like implements.

Jessica Craig-Martin’s photos show the seedier side of Hollywood and the harsh light of celebrity contrasting with the glamour and allure of fame.

According to the Saatchi Gallery: “At a time of collective unease, Black Mirror emphasises the importance of art and satire in dissecting power structures, questioning societal norms, and visualising political unrest, providing light relief to life’s uncertainties.”

Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire will be at the Saatchi Gallery between September 28, 2018 and January 13, 2019

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