FAILE disrupts artistic norms in Brooklyn Museum exhibition

Eye-dazzling, glow-in-the-dark colors cover every surface, somehow creating a fantasy world within the modern architecture of the Brooklyn Museum. Two game room tables sit in the center of a room plastered with politically challenging posters, posters addressing contemporary issues and expressing modern art with a hint of comic book edginess from a past generation.

These posters range from sci-fi movie posters and comic book covers to storefront posters and adult entertainment advertisements. They give off a sense of eeriness that cannot be countered by the games in the middle of the floor.

FAILE: Savage/Scared Young Minds is currently being displayed at the Brooklyn Museum, allowing spectators to step into the unique and playful world of art-duo FAILE. FAILE is a Brooklyn-based collaboration between artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. Their ability to blur the lines between tradition, religion, social constructs and culture allows them to express their personal theories while providing a look into our world from a different lens.

These social conflicts are often taken less seriously because of their joking manner, however their message still remains the same. FAILE, in understanding that these issues must be addressed subliminally, creates a more experimental environment in which visitors can get lost for hours. Through the use of sculptures, paintings, multimedia installations and an outdoor installation, FAILE has been able to challenge society’s representations of modern art. One of the most unique but socially challenging parts of the experience at the Brooklyn Museum is “The FAILE & BAST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade and Temple.” Lit with red florescent lights often used in New York’s darkest and sketchiest corners, the room is lined with 1970s style arcade games create by FAILE.

These arcade games allow users to interact with the art on a whole new level. With just a few moments fighting for personal gratification on the pinball machine, one will quickly forget one’s presence within the museum and be transported back to one’s first encounter with a 25-cent experience like no other. Luckily for museum-goers, these games cost nothing, allowing them the freedom to experience every game at their own pace while ultimately interacting with others intrigued by the exhibition.

As viewers continue through the installation into what one could call the backlight room, they are presented with a room full of FAILE art, covering every surface in artful chaos. As one reenters the main exhibition floor on the opposite side, it is not the free-standing sculptures or the print-covered canvas that catch one’s attention, but the decaying mosaic room built in the middle. Resembling a private tomb, FAILE uses the space to translate common human needs into accessible products that can be bought for under a dollar.

With phrases like “just pick the kind of love you want,” “never be alone again” and “search among the stars” etched into the stone within the tomb, onlookers are given the opportunity to step into the ideal convenient store of life.

Sculptures reflecting the sci-fi movie poster style, like those presented in the other parts of the exhibition, are placed across the tile floor and only covered by a half-existing roof.

The rest of the roof is scattered across the floor as if it has decayed under the museum’s skylight creating another world under the natural light of the day. Its organized chaos has created a reflection of life itself. This same level of chaos is cohesive through the entire exhibition.

It creates a connection that can only be possible through the unique type of creativity, since different parts of the exhibition is made out of different types of mediums. The variety of technique makes it all the more interesting, therefore providing all the more fun in exploring the exhibition.

With kids and adults playing old school games in the arcade and snapping selfies in the glow room, FAILE has created a new level of interactivity that will be running at the Brooklyn Museum until Oct. 4. On Thursday, Sept. 24, McNeil will be having an in-depth conversation with Brooklyn Street Art founders Steven P. Harrington and Jamie Rojo.


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