Bright Lights After Armageddon: I’m in a group show in New York, opening September 13th
Here is the exhibition text by Mark Brown:
What if we are living in the end times, but as Joseph Campbell wrote, “Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end”? What if rather than an all-consuming fire, Armageddon is a scintillating brightness, illuminating the first stirrings of a much better future? Could the day after Armageddon be the most beautiful day ever?
Perhaps a symptom of postmodern anxiety, the idea of Apocalypse—the final end of days—pervades the culture. In reports on the global economic crisis. In news stories about bath salt-crazed cannibals. In best-selling novels for teenagers and in the trendy academic cynicism of critical theorists. In disaster movies inspired by vague Mayan prophecy and in the dubious claims of religious leaders whose final-day predictions are pushed later and later into the calendar. Our culture sounds the alarm of Apocalypse like the Times Square bell-ringer whose sign reads, “The End is Near.”
Judged solely on the pervasiveness of the rhetoric, it would seem we live in troubling times. While there are always those who fear change, our rapidly-advancing info-technological society inspires many to proclaim we are bringing about our own destruction. But as much as our machines are responsible for intellectual atrophy, ecological devastation, and ubiquitous surveillance, they likewise provide us a glimmer of hope to deliver us from disease, political tyranny and, just maybe, our own mortality. Media doom and gloom frequently overshadows the good news, but from a different perspective, the story is quite different.
Maybe it is all a matter of a change in perception. If the Apocalypse is soon to come, perhaps we should be welcoming Armageddon. As in the Hindu myth, where the destruction of the world at the end of the restless and turbulent satya yuga era ushers in a new world of peace and enlightenment, the day after Armageddon may be much brighter than the day before.