Broken Monsters – CATALOGUE
Dystopia, the Climate Crises, and the Posthuman Identity
The recognition that none of us are actually distinct from each other, or the world, will profoundly affect the way we treat each other, different species and the environment. To harm anything is to harm oneself (Pepperrell 2003:171)
Broken Monsters is a philosophical enquiry into the nature of the posthuman identity, and its role in the climate crises. My interest in the nature of the posthuman identity was sparked by research as part of my MA in Visual Arts. As Posthuman Identities, we are in a constant state of flux. We are evolving / becoming new beings. The process of our becoming necessitates a fracture (breaking up) in our identity. Simultaneously we are becoming increasingly more aware of the interconnectedness between beings, ecosystems and lifeforms. Living in the climate crises and being confronted with the reality of the 6th mass extinction event, has led to the realisation that humanity is The Monster threatening our planet. The archaic humanist mindset of Humanity as being superior to all other lifeforms, has led to the insatiable consumption of natural resources. The realisation that humanity is not the centre of the universe has led to an “identity crises” of sorts in the collective human mind.
The visual enquiry into the nature of the posthuman identity and its place in the climate crises starts from a place of “now here”; using personal photographs of people and places that have meaning to me, I visually deconstruct my/our (humanist ) identity. By cutting these photographs into new shapes, assembling new scenes, I am constructing a new worldview. This new world will inevitably maintain some semblance of the old world. Therefore, certain elements of the “old” photographs will remain identifiable. The photomontages are reworked as sombre large-scale paintings.
This process is influenced by painters such as Eric Fischl, Neo Rauch and Matthew Hindley. The photomontage becomes the Utopian ideal, which is mirrored in the paintings depicting the Dystopian reality.
The body of work is divided into 3 environments: Land, Forest and Ocean. Each section investigates the human influence on the specific biosphere. The character of the work in each environment pivot between whimsical, illustrative, and solemn, mirroring the changeability of the Posthuman identity. The objective of my work is to explore new ways of existing in a dying world.