Juno Calypso – ‘What to do with a Million Years’
In the movie, ’10 Cloverfield Lane’, John Goodman plays a man holed up in a bunker, deep underground after an event made the earth uninhabitable. With it’s low ceilings and dingy industrial style rooms, it was everyone’s idea of a fallout shelter. The artist Juno Calypso’s latest show entitled ‘What to do with a Million Years’, however, gives a very different sense of what, when you have millions of dollars at your disposal and the colour sense of Malibu Barbie, such a bunker could be.
In the 1960s, in Nevada, at the height of the Cold War, Avon Cosmetics founder, Gerry Anderson built himself an underground shelter. He constructed, 26 feet beneath the earth, 16,000 square feet of impeccably decorated pink and white rooms, a swimming pool, a guest house, barbecue and a fake garden with plastic plants and lights that follow the path of the day from dawn to dusk.
The building is now unoccupied. Juno spent time in the bunker, sleeping and working alone and taking a series of unsettling self-portraits which explore “the extreme end of beauty. Radical anti-ageing. Immortality and eternal youth”.
Whilst there, she discovered that the current owners are, in fact, a mysterious group with an enthusiasm for cryonics – adding to the idea of preservation that runs from the location’s beginnings to the present day. It was originally built from the profits of a cosmetics company which was all about the pursuit and conservation of beauty and ended up as the strange home of people determined to achieve eternal life. Her photographs beautifully and somewhat disturbingly explore those themes.
‘What to do with a Million Years’ will be on display at TJ Boulting in London until 23 June 2018.
59 Riding House Street London W1W 7EG