Empty Distances

With James Aldridge, Darren Banks, Sean Higgins, Deborah Stratman, Alan Warburton, and The Twilight Zone
Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles | June 15 – 22, 2013


See the exhibition
Read the catalogue essay
Watch the interview

Empty Distances asks what possibilities emerge through a depiction of the void and how do artists position their practice within post-apocalyptic representations.

I would propose that…horror be understood as being about the limits of the human as it confronts a world that is not just a World, and not just the Earth, but also a Planet (the world-without-us). This also means that horror is not simply about fear, but instead about the enigmatic thought of the unknown…Horror is the paradoxical thought of the unthinkable. – Eugene Thacker 

In his book, In the Dust of this Planet: Horror of Philosophy Vol. 1, Eugene Thacker challenges a horrifying consideration of the spectral and speculative “world-without-us.” Empty Distances argues that through artistic representation we can imagine this unthinkable realm devoid of humans (due either to the cataclysmic fault of man or in a world that either pre-dates or as a realm that exists outside of man) and the Planet continuing its path of existence alone. The attempt to reveal this void implies a spatial collapse, as the empty distances reflected in these works connote a surface negative while also implying infinite vastness.

This exhibition stems from early 20th century theologian Rudolph Otto’s phrase “empty distances” and his notion that the very act of depicting the void in pictures establishes darkness and silence as subject itself. The artists in Empty Distances vary in the how they depict emptiness but all evoke an imagining of this possible post-human existence. Black metal, horror films, science fiction, scientific research, and magic realism are all influences here; pulling the viewer into a speculative new world.

One thought on “Empty Distances”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s