Fear of Ghosts

Mankind loves to demarcate eras, but it’s always done after the fact. Take now, for instance. Are we living in the tail end of the Industrial Age, the fat days of the Information Age or the early days of something beyond, some era not yet named? (Cast your vote for “Age of Confusion” now.) The Industrial Age seems the least likely, because it started two centuries back. But it’s not really gone, is it? We’re surrounded by remnants of this black-and-white era. Ghosts of Industry, a new art show at Gallery Visio, tackles the remains of the Industrial Age through works by Julie Deken (oil paintings), Matt Pierson (“inflammatory illustration”) and Danny Reise (process photography). Pierson’s drawing of a cartoon animal-man holding a steam-powered hand tool in a raised fist against a backdrop of indeterminate machinery, suspicious red splatters and the word “COPY” stamped maniacally throughout one corner hearkens back to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle while commenting on the incomprehension with which we face rapidly advancing technology. It ain’t easy living in this transitional nexus of the Industrial Revolution, the Information Age and whatever’s coming round the bend next. Ghosts of Industry is on display in Gallery Visio on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-7922 or www.umsl.edu/~galvisio). Gallery Visio is open Monday through Thursday; the exhibit remains up through Thursday, July 2.
Mondays-Thursdays. Starts: May 7. Continues through July 2, 2009

 
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