Have you come across the idea that everything can be abstracted to two primary emotions – love and fear?
Whether you agree with this notion or not, we have witnessed what a powerful behavioural driver fear can be. Understanding what threatens us and how we behave when scared is more political than it sounds. The ruling class, governments and other powerful institutions have exploited the fearful mind to gain and maintain social control and regulate their own fear responses in the face of losing control.
The intersection between fear, control and power are the central focus of Tulpa, a collaborative exhibition of works from artists Allan Gardner and Sean Patrick Campbell, on now at Bloc Projects.
To me, the highlight of their joint effort is the photographs. Fibre and resin prints resemble fragments of blurry dreams, while images on warped aluminium act as portals to ambiguous worlds. Tiny hills and partially buried photographs remind me of war minefields, where artefacts are left to tell stories when those photographed could no longer do so.
A pair of canvases titled New American Folk Hero depict two figures who are considered domestic terrorists in the US, but whose cases serve as evidence of nuance within notions of terrorism. Studying the exhibition brochure, I appreciated the political commentary around the use of the term “terrorist” and it helped me better understand the motive behind these pieces. However, the satanic references in the brochure could compromise the overall analysis of oppressive systems. The risk is that the viewer focuses on the mysticism, magic or satanism portrayed in the brochure and interprets the valid social critique as a conspiracy.
The gallery is a space to challenge the status quo so, in true anarchistic fashion, I urge you to experience the works for yourself and engage in critical independent thought.
Friday 7 February, 6-8pm, free – RSVP
- Words by
- Raluca de Soleil