Todd Arsenault

24 Jun - 31 Jul 2010

© Todd Arsenault
Activity ́s killing the actor, 2010
Óleo sobre tela
177 x 197.5 cm
"The Vortex is Obscene"

Opening: Thursday 24th June 2010 / 20 pm
Exhibition: from June 24th to July 31st 2010

The Vortex is Obscene is a body of paintings and works on paper that have been developed during the course of the past year. The works included are part of continuing research dealing with the impact technology has on traditional processes like painting and drawing-both as a tool for conceiving images and a way to access visual information. The title is a line from the 1974 film Zardoz, starring Sean Connery, about a post apocalyptic world in which the Vortex is a community of immortal beings who lead opulent, though trivial and pointless, lives. “The Vortex is obscene” is a line that comes at a moment of enlightenment within the community, when its denizens understand the inherent emptiness that is their existence.

‘The Vortex’ is an apt metaphor for the trajectory of modern communication and social dynamics, which have become lost in the physically vacant world of the Internet. We live in a peculiar moment in which technology is inescapable and it is dependent on us to decide how we integrate it into our lives. Many artists are especially aware of this phenomenon as it raises many questions about how they work. I have certainly felt the impact, as the computer has been an important part of how I formulate a painting. With these pieces I have reassessed the process of painting, becoming less reliant on the computer to solve problems that should be solved on canvas- I have remembered that paintings are made with a brush, not a mouse.

The paintings depend on the integration of simplified shapes to create an image that is at once a static mass and also a dynamic temporal space. The picture plane becomes a container, which documents a process focused on the reinterpretation of disparate visual information. No matter the concept or source of information that precedes a painting or drawing, the medium of paint is the physical manifestation of the myriad information and ideas that are reconciled on canvas and paper. Technology might be an aid, but the paint provides the final resolution to the visual problems that occur during the process.

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