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Seher Shah

Seher Shah, Notes from a City Unknown (detail), 2021

Modern architecture is often associated with the horror genre. In fiction and film, high-rise towers and concrete buildings form the backdrop to terrifying stories of dystopia. Ikon presents new and recent work by 20 UK and international contemporary artists exploring the relationship between architectural modernism and horror.

The exhibition takes Birmingham as its starting point, a city renowned for its brutalist architecture. It considers how these artists unpack the troubled histories and legacies of modernist buildings through the lens of horror by linking its tropes (suspense, darkness, fear) with qualities of modernist design. Configured in dialogue with the architecture of Ikon’s galleries, it will take viewers on a journey that highlights how the design and features of a building can shape not only our movement and perception, but also our deepest fears.

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