Beyond the scope | Scott Carruthers | June 3 to June 30, 2005

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Goodbye Cruel Dream World

"Stupid piece of junk" he said, rattling the broken canister. Anubis was riding an elevator up to the thirteenth floor for a long walk to nowhere, but he was convinced into taking a short detour for a few cocktails. "Not like we're in a big rush or anything". The only problem was extracting a bit of loose change to foot the bill. "If anyone asks, God sent me". He had swollen eyes, an amiable lopsided grin, electrodes embedded in his skull, and thin Goyaesque needles pushed under his fingernails.

Lord knows how hard it is when deities appear to you in dreams, much less in waking life. I know that if this were a simple matter of abstract expressionism, I could state my case in terms of countervailing polytonalities, but he avoids the chromatic palette and divines mere figures on a stark background. Fuck.

Dreams are so annoying. Are they all real? Are they all lies? Look within your heart: every damn night our grey matter produces a massive pile of data, most of which is discarded upon waking: is it valid? Does it have a potential 'value' in our lives? Is God telling us something, or is he just pulling chains, reiterating nebulous bits of dust?

As those hoar-encrusted sages of old have futilely attempted to remind us repeatedly throughout history, we are mere bits of a mindless unthinking whole, grinding inexorably down a path of human folly, erecting massive pyramids along the way which inevitably rot, and torturing our fellow humans in the process.

Scott Carruthers' drawings speak through our dreams of history: his grids and panels delineate what might appear upon casual observation to be an alternate document of human civilization. Upon closer observation they reveal an interpretation of the true history of human civilization: mankind in all his glory: monkeys with guns, in the service of an enduring ritual of dominance, subjugation, and degradation.

Carruthers re-creates the fragile first moments when language choked out of us, from when we first came together from disparate hunter-gatherer tribes to form organized hierarchical societies, from when we first worshipped gods, from when we first experienced confidence and delight in the new technologies with which we could more efficiently exploit each other.

Scott Carruthers evokes the age we live in now.

- Egon Von Bark, Toronto