Daniel Evans: TURGOR
The Art Incubator Gallery . October 5 – November 25, 2017
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton
Daniel Evans an Edmonton-based mixed media artist, explores questions of narrative and mythmaking in both historical and contemporary contexts. Daniel is particularly drawn to thresholds and liminal spaces: locations and events existing in between or outside of conventional borders, where transformation and change occur.
For the past ten years I have used my work to explore folklore and mythology as modes of storytelling and ways of knowing. In a contemporary context, we most commonly use these terms in one of two ways: to refer to ancient belief systems, stories, and religious practices from the historical past, or to refer to misinformation and falsehoods commonly held to be true. However, what I am interested in recognizing is the idea of folklore and mythology as active and ongoing processes, as parts of living cultures that evolve and transform to embrace new ideas, beliefs, and ways of storytelling.
My work moves between drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Often re-imagining mythic or folkloric tropes, motifs, and characters through a visual language of assemblage and hybridity. The work uses the lens of the fantastic to unpack contemporary cultural issues, while exploring how new mythologies are created in our ever-changing cultural climate.
My current body of work, Turgor, is a series of large-scale drawing and collage works of human figures dissolving into chaotic filament-like networks of architecture and information. These networks extend sculpturally from the surface of the works, generating additional complexity in response to the environment through shadows and reflected light. The figures are faceless and enigmatic; their capabilities and motivations are unknown.
Turgor is a state of pressure, an expansive force that drives growth, reproduction, and other vital processes in certain organic systems. In this collection I explore how the abundance of information and analytics within the last few decades coincides with an expanded definition of the body. Now more so than ever, our notions of the self have evolved to include not just our bodies, but also our social media profiles, online avatars, contact networks, as well as the technologies we use to access and shape this information. Similarly, our search histories, medical records, purchases, and so on are used by independent entities to create profiles of us, outside of our direct control, that have tangible impact on our experiences in the physical world. The expanded body and the networked body are simultaneously incredibly powerful, and incredibly vulnerable.
Our time is a mythic time, and we are all monstrous hybrids; chimeras of animal, machine and information. Our existence is both corporeal and incorporeal. We move seamlessly between worlds, each with its own rewards, dangers, and entrenched in its own systems of power and control. I use the fantastic as a way to understand, and to capture our evolving mythic landscape in this complex and turbulent environment.