Recent work by Brad Necyk comprised of layered stills and a video series that "is an attempt to visualize a world without humans," called Thinking After the World.
Reception at 8pm, Thursday, March 19th
Exhibition runs through March 27th
Drawing Room is open Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm to 5:00pm
Admission by Donation ($5 or pay what you can). All proceeds go to the artist.
Bob Dylan was asked if A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall was about atomic fallout and he said: 'no, it’s just a hard rain. It isn't the fallout rain. I mean some sort of end that’s just gotta happen.' Thinking of radioactivity as not always something physical, but something virtual, viscous, temporal and with dimension, providing lines of flight, strategies and tactics for engaging in the contemporary. The contemporary is not a temporal boundary which objects sit within because of their time of manifestation, but a tactical territory for multiplying the considerations and reconsiderations of objects. Contemporary Art. Contemporary TV series. Contemporary eating. Contemporary Google image search algorithms. Radioactivity stretches from cosmic radioactive background, to the fine coating of radioactive material left from Trinity to Fukushima, to the Potassium-40 that I have just ingested from my banana snack, which has flung alpha and beta particles at my DNA maybe missing or maybe knocking one of my letters out of place. It is the -activity in radioactivity, the characteristic of an object for decay and rearrangement in all its spontaneity and instability that makes it a tactical tool for examining cultural output.
The photographic work in Just a Hard Rain takes between 30 to 100 film stills, stacks them, compresses then enlarges them, runs algorithms to determine the highlights, where the most luminous activity is, and renders a singular image. The –activity, the fevered movement, the multiplying flesh makes me think of how lumped and dubious our faculties are as they translate the information from the array of photons presented. It cuts them temporally, digestible bits, a stream of tangibility, but what if they stack and compress like layers of bedrock? Freezing the –activity into one ecological layer. These are images of our time, the Anthropocene—radioactive images after the end of the world.
The Thinking After the World video series is an attempt to visualize a world through visual culture without humans—a post-apocalyptic space where the weight of the Anthropocene has run its course and there are no more human stories or struggles to be had in these landscapes. Unable to properly visualize such a space I look to film and find all the moments without humans. What narratives still reside in these films? What does our cultural output look like without humans? What worlds unfold form here?
Brad Necyk is a MFA graduate in Intermedia at the University of Alberta working through the mediums of photography, video, film and performance. He currently is the Artist in Residence for Transplant Services Alberta Health Services for the length of 2015. His current work, along side this medical residency, has been looking at ecology with a focus on specific objects within an ecosystem (plutonium-239, Junk DNA, virus', Turing Tests, holograms) as strategic modes for engaging in artistic reproduction, mutations and revolt. His other work focused on (auto)-biography, psychiatry, pharmaceutics and biopolitics. He has been shown around Canada, an artist in the current Alberta Biennial, participated in artists’ residencies, delivered academic papers internationally, is a scholar in the Integrative Health Institute at the University of Alberta and is currently teaching a number of senior level courses in Drawing and Intermedia at the University of Alberta.