John Felix Arnold III and Superchief Gallery are pleased to present Excorrigia | The Scourge, an exhibition of new works in painting, drawing, mixed media, installation, and sound. This is Arnold’s first solo exhibition with Superchief Gallery. The exhibition will run from April 3 through April 13. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, April 3 from 6-10pm at Superchief Gallery.
Words from Felix - This is a new installment in Arnold’s series of hyperbolized visual depictions of a post-apocalyptic future world called Unstoppable Tomorrow. Past exhibition volumes have included Unstoppable Tomorrow Vol.1, Past from the Blast, The Love of All Above, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, Found in Darkness, Bright on Time, and In Memory Of. “Excorrigia | The Scourge” utilizes Superchief to peer into a vision of the future. It is set in Arnold’s imagined reality where human kind’s obsessive drive to dominate and innovate has lead to the reset of civilization. A group of beings known as the Astroknots (man-made storm like entities created for the military, whose sole purpose is to devour everything in their path) have torn the world apart. Arnold’s artwork follows a group of survivors who are bent on controlling their homeland, a place that is now an infertile, crumbled, urban landscape. The Scourge feed into their own denial, hate, and self seeking fears. They are quickly sacrificing their own humanity in the quest for consumption and control. They blame their surroundings for their hardships so as to revel in their arrogance and embrace the Astroknots as deities. The tribe practices human sacrifice and blood letting to their new gods in the worship of self seeking power. They seek out other groups of survivors to maraud, pillage, and enslave. Theirs is a world of fear and total perversion of their humanity, a savage world where they have become demons.
Arnold explores this conceptual framework in his signature ever-evolving style. His work references comic book and Manga illustration, Japanese woodblock prints from the Edo period, and movement of all kinds to create his brand of Neo-Cave Painting. He also dives into abstract expressionism, found material fabrication, line drawing, portraiture, comic book typography, assemblage, installation, and ambient sound work. He creates work with a range of media and references that visualize and explore his synthesized reality. Many of the pieces on wood, found objects, and paper are to be perceived as creations from the scribes of The Scourge, used in worship of their new gods and as an account of their history. There will be a site specific, interactive, multi media installation which will act as a gateway to this imagined world. The installation will contain an altar that is used for sacrifices and to worship one of the tribe’s deities where the viewer can participate in a prayer performance. The show will also be set to a soundscape created by Arnold. All of the components work together to create a multi sensory journey by which the viewer can experience this narrative.
The exhibition is meant to be viewed in three ways. First as a walk through Arnold’s narrative world of Unstoppable Tomorrow created here in the present. Second as a real time view into an a grim future where the viewer is asked to get into character and imagine this as reality. And third, as a history museum exhibition of artifacts and documents from an archaeological dig that takes place four hundred years after the time of Unstoppable Tomorrow. The exhibition aims to provoke questions of self, ego, and idolization. It asks where we are resistant to acceptance and change. It prompts us to take a look at the sort of sacrifices we make on a daily basis and why we make them. It asks viewers to challenge their perceptions of the way they interact with the world around them and consider where humanity is headed.