There is a pattern I like to keep to (when I can) of writing up further information/insights to a more major piece I’ve done. Especially when it’s been acquired to a collection. This one, The Reckoning of the Lotus-Eaters, was a foundational moment in terms of source material, composition, color, tone, and verve. Completed in 2020, I found with this work a stylistic footing regarding my composing/assembling. In this work’s second life as a static art object on exhibition I have often re-read it’s visual essay.
A long time ago, in a chronically messy studio, it all started with some bougie auction catalogue hocking a so-so Damien Hirst. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. It was a nice double truck spread in the rag that lent well to a parabolic-horizontal wandering. This composition of what is at and beyond the now, is a track of anxiety that runs through my mind often: what about what about what about. Priam’s Kassandra knows this song very well, a real crowd pleaser in her repertoire.
Nestled among the rolling hills of an Uncanny Valley of lolling marzipan-grotesques piled high, a glazed veneer of apparent plenty; and crumbling ruins of histories are laid bare yet ignored, plain to the eye but entirely overlooked, a fact of life in this Candy Kingdom. War crimes? What war crimes? Numbed incorporation, the victory hymn of Capitalism.
The centralized figures are a variation of Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife. I’ve entirely forgotten the artist I’ve lifted from here, so let me know if you know. But their expressions are more nuanced than the usual “SEX: BAD.” allegory from Genesis. Their faces have a pleading of intimate desires interrupted, a yearning to simply to go back to canoodling. All the while a distant catastrophe billows sky-high from a distant Tower, where moths and butterflies clumsily flutter away, an instinct for self-preservation. Is this man scrambling away from or towards to an unknown fate?
There is an intentional ambiguity of whom exactly are the Lotus-Eaters here. What are your thoughts? I leave this to personal interpretation, having simmered on the title for this piece for a good while, so let me know.
In complacency there is abdication of agency.
Inaction is a choice for which there are consequences.