In Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner adaptation of the Phillip K Dick novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’, human cyborg replicants, are provided with tailored memories and images. Each replicant receives simulated family photographs made specifically to endorse a memory that never existed, validating a life never lived. These surrogate memories create, as with late capitalism, a fictional representation that will only find meaning through an encounter with a consumer’s desiring gaze. Whilst demonstrating the inherent mutability of everyday objects these works are not simulations, individually each acts as a surrogate.
The objects host subjects whose ideas or ideals are larger than the object channeling them. An important aspect of the work is the way these concepts are mediated through their material support or prop. All the objects I employ have a relationship to the haptic, to the body, touch or function. The works attempt to explore an over arching theme regarding the deconstruction of power and this very much interests me, whether it be the immensity of an issue or the impossibility or refusal to perceive its existence.
I try to use humour in the work as absurdity and power are commonly aligned. For instance in the work ‘Meteor’ is a kind of ridiculous proposition creating a relationship between leisure and terror, future-terror that ends up inducing apathy.
A choice reference in the studio is the image of Richard Dreyfus’ character ‘Roy Neary’ in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ obsessively sculpting the Devils Tower from mashed potato. Its a reminder to always work towards a process that employs a conscious and unconscious attitude to the combining of images and materials.
Paul Vivian is an Artist based in the UK who has exhibited internationally.