"Was Remade Will" - Original

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Was Remade Will

40cm X 40CM

Mixed Media on wood Panel

This piece is from the exhibition "Lest We Forget"

Lest We Forget
        I had a friend once who was convinced she could change her past more than her
future, just by forgetting. That recollection was my starting point. This exhibition is an
examination of what I thought a post covid world would be (from the point of view of
lockdown) and what it has been. I began by reimagining characters I had created prior to the pandemic, characters who seemed to be in the midst of something catastrophic, like the pandemic. However, when I first imagined these characters, their dignity was
inviolable; they were resilient and almost immutable in the face of adversity. Now, in
2024, they re-emerge. They are recognizable for the most part, but they are not the same. Their forms are incomplete, they have gaping voids replaced by shadow and silhouette. Details are replaced by rudimentary sketches, and memories of parts which are no longer present. They have been fractured and reassembled.
       I have struggled to understand how the life I lived in 2019 has never simply
resumed where it left off. The time I've spent in the studio recently was an effort to
understand this. For the first time in many years, these works were made without the
consideration of an audience. They were made as a part of my examination, and their
existence is a derivation of that process.
        As much as I have told myself: our masks are off, we can shake hands, hug and
trust – I find I have arrived in an environment that is in many ways more isolating, more
fractured, and more polarized than the world I closed my apartment door on in 2020.
While the anxiety of the pandemic is all but gone, the disassociation remains. The light
hearted and casual acquaintances I once had are now, potentially, hard lined allies or
enemies. Those amicable disagreements and debates have been replaced by extreme and cemented positions. There is an undercurrent of tension that lies beneath the surface of many seemingly inconsequential social interactions. It feels like dancing on thin ice.
       This is life in a post-truth world; where we are inundated with information and
disinformation, where the structures and institutions that we once looked to as arbiters of the truth are either behind paywalls, or the subject of conspiracy theories. It's a natural progression. When you can no longer tell what is fact and what is fiction, then everyone and everything is suspect. The characters in these images are mired in alpha numeric strands. These strands are all the same 5 sequences. I chose to do this because repetition creates the illusion of credibility. Hence, if you repeat the same lie enough, it becomes the truth. Even if this is some cryptic code that you don't understand, the pattern is recognized. In a post-truth world, all patterns are suspect.
       We also seem to have exited the pandemic at about the same time as technology
decided to determine that humans were becoming obsolete. That, indeed, the miserable
tasks of folding laundry, filing taxes, and taking out the trash would continue to require
your participation. However, art and literature and music, and all the things that are a
respite to the tedium of modern life, can now be made without you. All the knowledge
of 10,000 years had been fed to a silicon wafer that is now bigger, better, and smarter
than you.
       While we all sat home, mostly alone, questioning our life choices during the
pandemic and vowing to reprioritize, re-evaluate and live our best lives, those
aspirations evaporated quickly under the increased financial pressures of housing
insecurity and manufactured inflation.
        Throughout this period, the climate crisis has also been chugging along as an
existential threat that remains to be adequately addressed. We are literally sitting on our hands while the world becomes less and less inhabitable
       And – as if right on cue – every crisis has an autocratic despot waiting in the
wings with promises: to quell your fear, to fix everything and, of course, to find a
scapegoat to blame. Hate is an effective tool to distract people from a world view, and
force them to focus on the “other” across the border or down the street. This is the post pandemic world we arrived in and it is not 2019. All the while, H5N1 is sitting in the
shadows posing an even greater (potentially) threat than Covid-19, while politicians
argue about transgender bathrooms and immigration. It's as if we have learned nothing.
       This body of work was a way for me to spend some time alone, creating and
considering all the voids that still exist as a way for me to understand myself and what
others might be experiencing. While the pandemic has ended, the implications of it have not. Despite the normalcy of day to day life, there are subtle things at play here that continue to keep many of us guarded and isolated, and prevent us from re-establishing the connections that existed in 2019.
       The prices of the pieces in this exhibit are all numeric palindromes; sequences that
are the same in forward and reverse. This was a simple way for me to express that we
had started a sequence of events, ill prepared and over confident, and quickly reverted to a previous level of arrogance. I.E: a numeric sequence that changes and simply reverts. The sequence literally follows the same deviation in reverse to arrive back where it began. It's a loop.
       There seems a collective sense of exhaustion that has been exploited and has
divided people. Overwhelmed, there are increasing undertones of resignation. In our
haste to move on, we have failed to address some critical effects of this pandemic. I have no intention of ending this diatribe with some overly optimistic platitude or some
superficial remedy. I am simply observing it.
Eddie Colla


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