POP GOES THE WORLD! features twenty-one artists who use images and materials drawn from mass culture (maps, puzzles, currency, tar, scientific illustrations, etc.) to describe our world in a constant state of upheaval. The works range from densely layered geographies that redefine traditional cultural, social and political boundaries, to montages of popular imagery, to purely abstract evocations of explosive energy.
NORA ASLAN, BARTON LIDICÉ BENEŠ, TAMAR COHEN, MATTHEW CUSICK, ADAM DANT, INDIA EVANS, JOHN EVANS, MAX GREIS, DEREK JARMAN, DON JOINT, KIM MacCONNEL, DAN MILLS, DAVID POPPIE, JONATHAN SANTLOFER, HOLLI SCHORNO, KAREN SHAW, AL SOUZA, MARITTA TAPANAINEN, MARK WAGNER, C.K. WILDE, DAVID WOJNAROWICZ
Despite the exhibition’s title (borrowed from the 1987 pop song by Men without Hats) and seemingly playful imagery, closer consideration reveals a decidedly darker view of the world. Contemporary world events are both directly and indirectly invoked, including the progressive destruction of our natural resources, the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the global economic crisis. Iconic figures abound with the appearance of Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden, the Manson family, Andy Warhol, Jackie-O, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, as the cultural obsession with money, power and celebrity continues to dominate our imaginations.
Does the exhibition sound like a warning siren? Are we on the brink of total disaster? Or is the current political, social, environmental and economic chaos simply part of our everyday life?