Friday, February 16, 2018

Brian Alfred: “Future Shock” at Miles McEnery Gallery

It seems everyday one encounters news of a fresh threat to humankind, a new possible reason for the destruction of our species. Brian Alfred tries to capture this feeling of the world spiraling towards disaster. He succeeds in a handful of paintings, but only truly achieves his goal in the video piece on display. The video included the digitally produced version of most of the work in the exhibition, but it was the inclusion of dark synth music, camera movement, and a few strong pieces that were nowhere to be found in the gallery, that made it much more powerful. 

Communication of the idea that humankind is nonchalantly barreling toward ruin is an important part of this show, yet there were a number of pieces that detracted from that concept. The first piece you see upon entering the space, the painting cryptically titled, Enclaves of the Future, has an important job of setting the tone of the show. However, the painting fails at this task by simply depicting a night sky with no inkling of a planet wracked with environmental disaster and political strife. Nevertheless, Alfred produces some provocative and visually pleasing work that serves as an innocent envelope containing a message that accents humanity’s casual flirtation with destruction and chaos. 
(This is a promo video provided by the gallery that is similar to the video in the exhibition)

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the visual, if this route is taken perhaps still photos from inside the space itself if permitted, I believe your review was thoughtful, though I would of liked to hear more about how the work impacted you directly and what you thought about during or afterwards a little bit more. Overall solid review.