The paintings draw upon the intersection of technology and the world of science fiction literature - the name of the exhibition is a variation of the title of H.G Wells dystopian science fiction novel The Sleeper Awakes. Written in 1910, the story centers around a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years. He wakes up in a completely transformed London where he has become the richest man in the world as a result of the growing interest on his bank accounts. However, to his horror the future is now governed by an organization ruling in his name.
White draws parallels with themes of revolt and social unrest from the Wellsian novel and juxtaposes them with today’s sense of interconnectedness and social mobility. It is here the artist creates inspiration for the new exhibition. White visits themes such as the role of technology in political events, particularly focusing on the Arab Spring uprising of 2010. With this in addition to an ongoing interest in literature, Whites new body of work makes reference to the gestural mark of the graffiti movement as an original form of dissent and an early form of collective violence. Demonstrated preliminary through paper collages salvaged from Paris Subways, the medium has previously existed as mass media advertisements, and was often vandalized and torn, tagged with gestural lines and people’s marks. These affiches then become a personal form of communication. In taking this medium from a public space, where its original role is a form of dissent, it thus sees personal voices reflecting a broader public and social outcry. The new works show a preoccupation with the intersection of the gestural mark, bodily performance and corporeality, overlapping between action and gestural painting in order to gain transformative power or transcendence. With this, ideas emerge about modern societies ongoing metamorphosis in the place of violence and its ongoing role within it.