What happened to the soul?
What happened to the soul? is a series of paintings conceived during the pandemic that build on the previous works, Something about Symbols and Numbers, as well as the Value and Spatialization Paintings. Over the years it has struck me how the idea of humans having a soul has retreated in some forms of cultural production and not in others. Has the soul been displaced by something else, if it seems absent? By what has it been replaced? By a need to contain, capture, organize and manage things? Or simply by death? With these works, there is a sharper focus on linking the act of composing a painting to various means of separating, isolating and exhibiting organic elements within imagined dystopian landscapes (that are ostensibly produced by similarly exploitative means).
The paintings are meant to trigger fragmented points of identification within a viewer, either visually or affectually – momentary hallucinations of impossible organic continuities that echo the tensions produced formally and symbolically in the compositions of the paintings. One might see a portrait in the landscape, or the fragments may come together to make a face, a vista, an architectural whole. The desire is to bring about an unusual and unsettling beauty within a critical vision of possible futures projected from the current political, economic and social anxieties that mark the year 2020 and beyond.