‘Affliction’ Category

Christopher Wise: Affliction

July 10th, 2019
19 July – 18 August 2019
Opening Reception: Friday19 July 2019, 7pm

 

“O what has come over us? Where are the violent fates pushing us back to? I see passing by, in headlong flight, time which makes the world a fleeting place. There seems to be no defense and no understanding of the cause of the afflictions. Was it the operation of the heavenly bodies or of our own iniquitous doings, being sent down upon mankind for our correction by the wrath of an almighty power? Our distraction by entertainments and devices, ignorant of seeing the almighty in the infinitesimal. We are absorbed in pleasure with song and revel, sparing to satisfy no appetite, and to laugh and mock at no event. A plague of ecstatic despair echoes throughout the East and West, persons are distraught and almost without feeling. Little by little, from town to town, from village to village, from house to house, and finally from person to person the connective tissue of the affliction-ridden society has come undone and in its place a cruel, surreal rapport. The afflictions have made us more avaricious and grasping, even though we have far greater possessions. More covetous and disturbed by each other more frequently with suits, brawls, disputes, and pleas.

As we recognize our own afflictions, not to speak of many others of a similar or even graver complexion, diverse apprehensions and imaginations we view each other with harsh resolution, to shun and abhor all contact with the sick thinking, thereby to make our own health secure. Sound judgment, perhaps, as it affirmed that there was no medicine for the affliction superior or equal in efficacy to flight. But to where? Our need to have the freedom sufficient to satisfy our appetites not as recluses, but free to enviously regard those things particularly to our taste or liking.

Lamenting our misery, we fear to remain, yet dare not flee.”
 
 
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The sculptures in Christopher Wise’s exhibition Affliction reveal the power in the infinitesimal. Microscopic specimens: spores, bacteria, viruses are recreated on a grand scale. The prosaic materials, common to Thailand, hint at the dark roots of materialism, industry and policy whose banality make us ill.  Yet the bold primary colors have a simple beauty that echoes the seductive qualities of the “entertainments and devices” we are addicted to, things we know are unhealthy but can’t put away.  Reminiscent of enlarged toys, the specimens symbolize an immature curiosity that never learns. Objects are multiplied to be come a new object, as cells divide and grow to become organisms. With the addition of other surfaces or other objects, they evolve to become more beautiful, addictive and irresistible. 

In “Le desert, Albert Camus speaks of a “repugnant materialism” where everything we do and pursue in a capitalist age ravages our very existence — where we voluntarily swap dead ideas for living realities, another type of contagion. The Plague of Camus’ novel, the critic John Cruikshank insists, is also a reflection on “man’s metaphysical dereliction in the world.” We are powerless to resist, no vaccines or antibodies can stop us spreading the affliction. We “share” and “like” our phantasmagoria across the world.
 
The pieces are named in Latin, referring to a resemblance to events and things occurring during our own time of affliction.
  
 
 
 
 
WTF Café & Gallery 
7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Wattana, Klongton-Nua, Bangkok 10110
BTS: Thonglor Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 4-10pm 
Free Admission
 
For further information please contact:
Somrak Sila, somrak@wtfbangkok.com
Christopher Wise, cw@wtfbangkok.com
Tel: +66 (0)2 662 6246
 
 
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