It's So Beautiful, But It's Not Enough
Jan 11, 2019 - Feb 15, 2019
Artist Talk and Reception
Feb 5th, 2019 10:50am
Fenway Room, ADM 232
"Paradise cannot be eternal, for pleasure with no end is a hell of its own design."
Although we are taught that abstinence, temperance, restraint, and self-control are moral imperatives, these prescriptions are at odds with the cultural and capitalist mandates of indulgence, excess, extravagance, and folly. How do we tolerate the tension of existing within these opposing expectations?
In examining this polarity, viewers may shift between modes of affinity, empathy, or self-recognition as they watch the repetitive actions of the video's subjects maneuvering through a variety of disparate landscapes. Rear projection on a mosaic of thin, fragile square porcelain tiles evokes the hazy schism between these two cultural demands and the increasingly maddening effects on our brittle self-identities as we fail to navigate these tensions successfully.
Lizzie Falvey's body of work examines the nature of hyper-optimism and depressive realism. Her recent video installation, The Psychopathology of Optimism, asked viewers to sit alone inside a dark cube and have their pulse monitored while answering questions developed by psychologists to determine their level of self-deception. The greater one's ability to lie to oneself, according to psychologists, the more likely they are to be optimists. By looking at the intersection between contemporary tendencies to mask pain, inequality, and exploitation by invoking hopes for a better future, she suggests that depressive realism is the cultural antidote.
Friday, February 15