‘The spectacle in general, as the concrete inversion of life, is the autonomous movement of the nonliving.’ As an artistic statement, this quote from the French intellectual Guy Debord heads the Australian, New York-based artist Cliff Evans’s webpage. Gathering images from online sources using Google image searches and bringing them together through technological processes that call to mind photomontage techniques, Evans has been making poetic, visually powerful animations that examine the politics of the media in Western societies. Evans’s latest project, ‘Bare Life: Booth Girls and Stormtroopers-Accumulation,’ is a five-channel video presented both as an altar piece that recalls medieval, religious painting and the product displays of electronic goods. As the title suggests, he created a narrative about both the real and virtual realms and the power of the male gaze by assembling different pictures of booth girls and stromtroopers. This piece takes on his most well-known work, ‘The Road to Mount Weather’ (2006), a three-channel video projection in which conspiracy theories, infowar, propaganda, web banner advertising, history painting, and utopian ideas dramatically constitute a digital collage of an imaginary apocalyptical world. As MoMA’s Associate Media Curator Barbara London put it in her 2006 Artforum picks for The Best Films of the Year, ‘With a pinch of Hieronymus Bosch and another of William S. Burroughs, Evans’s… installation brilliantly portrays twenty-first-century phobias in this up-to-the-minute version of purgatory.’ – Miguel Amado
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