Thursday, March 5, 2009

"By the pricking of my thumb..."

"...something wicked this way comes."

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Red-Fronted Conure

There is an exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art titled Something Wicked This Way Comes. The exhibition features 96 paintings, prints, photographs, mixed-media works, and sculptures by 65 artists, and was organized by the museum’s curator of collections, Rick Axsom.

From the website:
"Initially focusing on stark representations of evil, Axsom gradually expanded the scope of the exhibition to include artists whose expressions ranged from horrific to satirical to whimsical–with many works simply providing the pleasures of a good scare. With this encompassing scope, Something Wicked This Way Comes affords an opportunity to reflect upon the ways that evil has been understood and represented over time. To early Christian traditions, for example, evil reflected a fall from Grace, fostered by the temptations of the Devil and anger toward God. In the secular traditions of the West, dating to ancient Greece, philosophers have taken another perspective: they situate evil in the malevolent actions of individuals and societies gone wrong. Expanding on this latter point of view, the modern age shifts the location of evil to political history, the acts of the individual, and the inner torments of the mind."
"On a more fantastical end of the spectrum is Robert Lostutter’s bird-masked man in The Birds of Heaven 14, Red-Fronted Conure, a lithograph from 1974. Adopting the Surrealist strategy of juxtaposing different realities to prompt nightmarish meanings, Lostutter creates a mutant being half man, half parrot fiercely capable of malice. The Surrealists, strongly influenced by the theories of Freud, found in dreams and the subconscious a source for the more sinister, irrational side of human identity."

On Friday, March 6th, between 5:30-6:30 PM, there are 10 groups or individuals portraying either specific images from the show, or augmenting the general theme of the show. This performance, titled "The Witching Hour", was coordinated by Kia Karlen. Musical performers include Fayrfax Ensemble, Anna Purnell, Yid Viscious Klezmer Ensemble, Geoff Brady (on the Theremin!), DB Peterson, and Gregory Taylor. Also featured are Theater and Movement performances by Sandra Bonnici, Jennifer Neuls, Angela Richardson, and Yours Truly.

If you get a chance, stop in and see wickedness in its various guises.

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