7 Sins Series (collage and photomanipulation)
1. Greed - "Lobotomous Cola"
This piece uses a movie poster from 1975 for the film, A Boy and His Dog. It also uses corporate art promoting Daft Punk and the Eidos Hitman games. The composite is assembled to create an original concept critiquing the conspicuous corporatism in the Western world. The free rein of multinational conglomerate corporations produces cultural detritus as a byproduct of accumulating wealth. In the end, companies such as Apple, Coke and Starbucks are rotting from the inside because branding is purely superficial and marketing supports creating low quality products. Think about the red ring of the Xbox. These types of companies cannot support healthy culture through the facade of branding. Eventually, the pseudo-monoculture that multinationals create will leave them susceptible to annihilation - much like the threat of monoculture in agriculture and ecology. I think it goes without saying why this piece fits into the 7 Sins as 'Greed'.
original materials for "Lobotomous Cola"
2. Lust - "American Charity"
This piece uses Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa with a Peter Vale bust of Marilyn Monroe and Armando Huerta's incredibly provocative illustration of the three-breasted woman from Philip K. Dick's "We Can Remember it for You Wholesale". Inspiration is drawn from pinup legend, Earl Moran, and avant-garde titan, Andy Warhol. The point behind the painting is a political commentary on Pax Americana after Pax Romana. The concept of "roman charity" is famous in Renaissance and Baroque art... the starving old man who is fed breast milk directly from a young, buxom mother. Here I take the definitive classic of Renaissance art and bastardize it with a juxtaposition to the modern American icon of beauty and the postmodern Western icon of sexuality. I contend that Western society's fetishization of the superficial has the effect of masking lessons and knowledge from history. In this respect, American Charity fits well into the 7 Sins series which hopes to highlight the challenges that Western culture faces as we become more and more decadent and apathetic. I know, I know... i'm such a pessimist and anhedonist... oh well.
Original Materials for "American Charity"
3. Sloth - "Isolatrix"
This piece uses a photograph of The Isolator, an invention from almost 100 years ago. The device was a helmet that fed oxygen and cut off outside noise to a person seeking to write under full concentration and focus. Needless to say the invention never caught on. I tried to do some photomanipulation that brought out the Wachowski's Matrix-like patterns. I like the juxtaposition of digital with the analog quality of the original photograph. I also thought it was fun to highlight the real solitude of existing in a Matrix type scenario - being fenced in; being denied the creativity that freedom implies. The illusion of reality through simulacra is a compelling condition of the digital age. Being denied truth will have the inevitable effect of rendering an individual toward sloth. How many years will it be before our own mastery of technology and computers puts us into Matrix-like fantasy world? It will surely create lonely existences lacking truth and exuding sloth.
4. Envy - "Klokd"
This piece uses a screencap from Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The prop clock from the film is juxtaposed with an uncredited photo of a human fetus and another uncredited diagram of the gears of a watch. The concept is that humans are engineered tools of time. We are always trying to break free of the restrictions of time but this resistance is what keeps us bound. I have not worn a timepiece since high school and perhaps this is the reason why i'm not yet a career man... i just can't get on track with the human schedule. And yet I feel liberation as a result. Those who work on a strict schedule and those who refuse to are still determined to envy the position of the other. A fundamental and eternal dilemma.
Original Materials for "Klokd"
5. Pride - "Raucus Caucus"
This piece uses a photograph of former Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, juxtaposed with a painting by Vassily Nesterenko depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Inspiration is drawn simply from the ass-hat behaviour of Rob Ford and a comment he made defending Justin Bieber's immature, but also criminal behaviour. It was a sort of "cast the first stone" philosophy, but seems an absurdly pat position for a city official to take. In this respect, the point behind this piece is to create a political critique against representative democracies and their lack of accountability to the public who elect them. By the end of Ford's term it seemed fairly obvious that an elected official represents special interest groups sooner than the best interests of the electorate as a whole. It is a broken system and Ford is the epitome of that fact. The gift he gave our city was to demonstrate how it wasn't just him that was treating public representation like some kind of perverse cult leadership. He did reveal the shady nonsense of numerous other local politicians.
Original Materials for "Raucus Caucus"
6. Gluttony - "Chattel"
This piece uses a famous headshot of Marlene Dietrich layered over a screencap from M (1931) directed by Fritz Lang. Dietrich's face was replaced by a screencap from Le Cochon Danseur, a 1907 Pathe film that used one of the first 'muppets' onscreen. The inspiration for the piece came from my academic work in cinema studies. In this case, gluttony refers to the insatiable appetite for sexual perversion that human beings seem to experience and embrace. It may not be our downfall but is surely one of the primary reasons that we have a slow progression as a planetary-dominant species. Fetishes and disavowals can be very psychologically debilitating as well as distorting.
Original Materials for "Chattel"
7. Wrath - "QFO"
This piece uses a photograph taken by Lucy Tetrault (I hope I spelled it correctly - I went to school with her) and a photoshopped work by Smeece85 at Flickr. The compositional choice is to conceptualize the alien threat from human perception. We conceive of aliens as ominous yet their behaviour is rarely portrayed as abhorrent as how human beings treat each other. I suggest that aliens as 'the other' are more likely a fetishization whereby we deny the worst aspects of our own nature and culture. The threat of destruction by the hands of aliens belies the real issue that we destroy each other socially and the disavowal is truly a profound form of wrathful self-flagellation.
Original Materials for "QFO"
These pieces in the 7 Sins series are defined by their political valence... and therefore I believe that they should be considered fair use of the original works that constitute their composition. If you want to help me improve the works... just contact me here and get my permission first.
DADARAZZI (Collage & Photomanipulation Portrait)
an existential map guided by a skewed compass.