Demons possess us: they dissolve the boundaries between the self and the non-self, the inside and the outside. In ancient Greece the term “daimon” was used for different kinds of supernatural creature, super- or sub-human, familiar spirits that were not necessarily bad. Since then the term demon has come to describe the evil or unclean spirits that populate many religious traditions. The idea that demons are more metaphorical than real might be viewed as a mark of modernity. But are they really no longer real to us? If I “have demons” — addictions, obsessions, perversions — they’re inside me, but I don’t control them, or at least it often doesn’t feel like I do. We project our demons onto others, and turn them into concrete figures of evil. Society has its demons — abjected identities like terrorist, sex offender, bitch, gang member, queer. What do they say about us and our subjectivities and identities? Are we our demons?
DOVA Temporary is a storefront gallery administered by the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts (DOVA). Due to its proximity in Hyde Park’s historically significant Harper court, it serves as a point of interaction and engagement between the Hyde Park community and the Arts on campus. DOVA Temporary is a highly adaptable space that fosters experimentation and diverse approaches to the arts by providing a professional quality facility for the exhibition of graduate, undergraduate, and alumni student work from DOVA on a regular basis.
This exhibition is co-curated by Renee Stout and Rebecca Zorach in conjunction with their CAA Centennial Panel, Our Demons.