Printed inner in laser cut artwork
The debut album from writer and artist Holly Childs and artist Gediminas Žygus formerly known as J.G. Biberkopf.
Initiated in 2017, Hydrangea grew out of a series of performances emphasising conspiracies and the designer realities that they generate. Navigating a tangle of digitally induced subjectivities and relationships, Hydrangea sees Childs & Žygus amidst a continuously evaporating world in which narratives dissolve, leak, fold in on themselves and loop.
Childs & Žygus ask: As individuals are siloed online, can rifts in reality ever be reconciled? Is history a form of science fiction? And are narrators ever reliable? The process of creating Hydrangea was defined by the search for a form to bind fiction, poetry, and musical experience. Its narrative is influenced by technical instructions, lectures and whispered conversations, in which slippage and floating focus can create new meanings in the listener that weren’t intended by the speaker.
Aspects of physical and informational security including passwords, codes, locks and obstacles speak to the ways in which meaning or material can be locked, unlocked or instrumentalised for a range of potential outcomes. Hydrangea reflects on the Machiavellian strategies of political ideologists such as Steve Bannon, Aleksandr Dugin and Vladislav Surkov who have made use of contemporary and postmodern artistic strategies to design narrative uncertainty—covertly braiding together questionable truths, slippery narratives and bespoke reinterpretations of history for undisclosed political ends.
"Hydrangea’s Just the Password Though, Right?"
Childs & Žygus employ a musical language that layers their cumulative practices and experiences. The compositions are cinematic and spatial, working with the illustrative qualities of Disneyesque string melodies and taking cues from Maurice Ravel’s impressionistic piano works.
The work is also influenced by both artists’ lifelong experiences of rave culture, beginning for Žygus during childhood in newly independent Lithuania, spending time juggling Disney and happy hardcore cassettes on the family stereo, and for Childs as a preteen in Australia, tagging along with her sisters to doofs and warehouse parties. Initiated while the artists were both working between Amsterdam and Rotterdam in 2017, the work also draws on Dutch gabber music.
Hydrangea’s development has been influenced by collaboration with artists and filmmakers Metahaven, who created the album art.