© 2019 by Merle Luhaäär

I  Will  Alway$  £ov€  ¥ou

(mixed media installation, 2019)

The HEDONIST story of LOVE, lust and scrutiny of CONTEMPORARY society   (Royal College of Art,  29.06-07.07.2019)

 'I  Will  Alway$  £ov€  ¥ou' looks beyond the romance within personal relationships to consider contemporary society and its suicidal tendencies born from a self-destructive 'prosecco-on-tap' mentality plagued by substance abuse and irrational lifestyles wherein drugs, alcohol and overworking becomes a dangerous game.

'I Will Always Love You' with a flower-holding skeleton depicts an ironic view of the world where more is never enough and there are shortcuts via chemical stimulants towards providing unlimited energy to remain in a continuous present tense called 'always'. The consequence of this unlimited borrowing of time and energy from ourselves often leads to an overdose, in private as well as in professional spheres, an over-saturation of the core values that make us human.

The red neon 'I Will Alway$ £ov€ ¥ou', with letters swapped for currency symbols, is a clue that the 'you' can refer to a lover, an admirer, or 'a partner in crime', as well as to a narcissistic love and a pursuit of wealth, fame and success.

Literary classics lying around the semi-historical living room installation remind the viewer that an endless chasing of love, greed and debauchery is not a new phenomenon, it has always been a part of every society and only the appearances have changed. The feeling of deceitful reality is reinforced by the installation being presented as a quasi nature morte, where the painting on the wall seems more alive than the characters being portrayed as skeletons. Ultimately, it suggests that 'always' is just a chimaera and the overachievers in our society are merely chasing their own tails 'until the day they die'.