march 29th - may 4th, 2002
opening reception: good friday
In Tomorrow, Dominic McGill presents sculpture and drawings that explore the dark history of nuclear apocalypse past and future. The intricate works muse upon humankind's adaptation to its psychotic commitment to nuclear armament. Mr. McGill is an English-born artist who lives and works in New York. This will be his first show with the gallery.
Model for a death wish generation is a replica of a rusted out early-model hydrogen bomb. The device is unsealed at its equator, the top half of the sphere elevated to form a Pacific sky beneath which a scale model of the verdant (and uninhabitable) Bikini Atoll floats serenely in the bomb's heart, complete with detonation crater submerged in the lagoon.
In Love is the only shelter, a classicly American church, the front door sandbagged and defended with machine gun, stands high atop a hill cutaway in profile. Into the church's cellar are a series of tunnels and stairs, leading to a bomb shelter deep beneath the earth. These batteries and tunnels reference Father McHugh's "Ethics at the Shelter Doorway," an early nuclear paranoiac (but a point) text which explains the Christian goodliness of shooting those who would force themselves into your family's bomb shelter. Two other sculptures, the self-explanatory Vampire killing kit and Ethics at the shelter doorway, in which a taxidermied crow guards a carved-out Bible which hides a semi-automatic, also mock Christianity's investment in the myth of heaven at the apparently acceptable expense of life on earth.
Particularly grotesque as the Doomsday Clock advances towards midnight for the third time in eight years, superstition, paranoia, religious justification, and the Judeo-Christian-backed willingness to sacrifice ideals and civilizations are the hallmarks of our nuclear ages. Exquisitely built, Mr. McGill's model metaphors utilize cinematic means to address our constant exposure to these annihilation stresses and play on our society's reinterpretation of grave politics into cultural and tabloid techno-eyecandy. In just five sculptures and a drawing, Mr. McGill rounds out the illogical and incendiary delusions of our unrelentingly Revelational era.
Mr. McGill is known for his works as one half of the Standard and Poor collective and for his street performances and guerrilla art. In 1997 and 1998, the duo performed as The Red Carpet Rollers, showing up uninvited at likely venues such as the Trump Towers, only to build a crowd that waited for a celebrity who never arrived. He is also an accomplished theatrical effects designer. For the last four years he has worked on The Portrait Project: disguised as different characters‹serial killer, fat man, priest‹he has his portrait drawn in Central Park, and records with surveillance video his interactions with others on his way via subway to and from the Park.
in the project room: DIAMOND REALM + WOMB REALM
As a public service, the gallery itself will provide an unlimited take-away edition of the Diamond Sutra, handwritten and in English translation. Additionally, large-scale computer-drawn interpretations of the Taizokai and Kongokai mandaras will be presented for the opportunity of meditation and reflection.