Adam Dix - Yesterday's Prophets
15th October to 23rd November 2013
Eleven is pleased to present Adam Dix’s first solo show at the gallery. In this series of works on paper, Dix explores our associations between communication technology and our absorption with it. Focusing on the abundance of communication devices, his work encapsulates the allure for the user to stay in a mode of constant connectivity and how these instruments interrupt and influence our command of the world around us.
The information age is fuelled by the consumption of data, aided by the growth in the advancement of communication technology, where society has created tools that shape the individual and how the individual engages with society as a whole – a ‘Technoculture.’ A system of belief where immediacy, practicality and consumption combined with an unconditional reliance evokes a sense of personalised worship to the device of communication. As counterculture scholar Theodore Roszak describes in his book The Cult Of Information, ‘A public cult prepared to believe that we live in an information age which makes every computer aided device around us, what the relics of the True Cross were in the age of faith – Emblems of Salvation.’ It is this core idea of worshipping the device of communication that traverses the central narrative of Dix’s work.
Yesterday’s Prophets explores the idea of community, custom and ritual as mediated by these communication instruments. He appropriates traits from science fiction, religion and mythology that conjure up the notion of a future’s past, just as the title, Yesterday’s Prophets, simultaneously recalls a past and evokes a future vision. He purposefully maintains an ambiguity of time and place for each image. Although imagined, there is something familiar about the scenes, like a family gathered around a table in Homemade (2012), or a crowd of people assembled in celebration as in Parade the Pilgrim (2011) yet a mode of mass connectivity like a satellite dish or radio tower are elevated to take on totemic qualities. Our own desire to be connected is reflected through depictions of an infatuated society where communication objects are bestowed with an idolised status; unaware of how to physically engage, but knowing it to be a way of connecting.