Violable Withic Century
Dan Nash & Ruth Watson

Wicker things are having a resurgence: at once ancient (humans have woven baskets for millennia), retro (they seem from the 70s or 80s) and contemporary (if the Duchess of Devonshire’s coffin is anything to go by).

A slippage of eras. The combination of wicker alongside the futuristic – both alien and daggy at the same time – problematizes our desires, offering a vision of present and future anxiety.

‘To wicker’ can mean to furnish, cover or enclose. We wanted an adjective from this word but did not like the already existing ‘withen’, so created the neologism withic. Violability comes from the brutal collage of heterogeneous digital textures.

Violable Withic Century shows faux-cuneiform tablets made deliberately to be artificially degraded. This conceit seemed to collapse time while also being a gesture from a movie props department. Hollywood was not ignored; we used the creation sequence from the recent Noah, as well as David from Ridley Scott’s beloved Prometheus. Both were filmed at 36,000 feet on a tourist camera, from the embedded screens in the seat backs of the economy section.

A burst of audio comes from a documentary series titled ‘21st century’: we wished to coerce Modernist ideals of the future into its existing others, the dystopian view of possible non-futures or nested cycles of infinite recursion.

Dan Nash is currently studying at the Elam School of Fine Art. His work was selected for New Graduate Works 2013 at Gus Fisher Gallery.

Ruth Watson is a senior lecturer at Elam School of Fine Arts. Recently Watson received the Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award for her work Telluric Insurgencies (2014).

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