Written by Steve Sherrell
Dystopia- A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia, or simply anti-utopia) is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is translated as “not-good place”, an antonym of utopia, a term that was coined by Sir Thomas More and figures as the title of his most well-known work, Utopia (the blueprint for an ideal society with no crime or poverty). Wiki
Artists are particularly sensitive to the Zeigeist (Tr. The spirit of the time) and often serve as the culture’s messengers. Since the moon landing and that fateful photograph of the earth from the moon, people have started to see the earth from a very different perspective than our ancestors. Our ancestors looked at the world from the point of view of ‘place’. Travel was slow and difficult and most people spent their lives living in one vicinity, never travelling far from home. The view of the earth, transmitted into our homes via the ‘AIRWAVES’, completely changed our view of the world and made us see that the world was not infinite, but a small sphere where we all lived together.
Move forward 47 years to 2016. Our knowledge of the world is instantaneous. We see things via the web, through our phones, on television and are kept up to date on world affairs constantly. Social media has changed the way we get information. I make a post and 2 seconds later, my Scandinavian friend comments from her phone in Sweden. WE know about pollution in China. We see picture of melting icecaps. We here predictions of the future by eminent scientists. Our view of the world is not local anymore, it is macrocosmic.
The artist as cultural messenger became a very effective means of affecting the nature of our culture. By using art as a communicative tool, artists have been able to change the culture in dramatic ways. Feminism is one very good example, as was the protest movement against the Vietnam War. Artists are also not afraid to look squarely at things and not be afraid to tell the truth, regardless of the consequences.
Look at these works with the eye toward the future and the consequences of “progress”.
Show will be up from November 11, 2016 until December 4, 2016