© Steve Morrison

Uneasiness in Culture
Solo Show (Eyedrum, Atlanta) 2017

The work included in the 2017 solo show Uneasiness In Culture (Eyedrum, Atlanta) was initially prompted by the raw feeling of bread dough in the hand, and the idea to use it as a medium. Inspired by puppetry, Freudian psychology, dream scenes in the ancient epic of Gilgamesh, and baking, this work explores natural cyclical processes of growth and decay and our collective need to interpret meaning. The show includes paintings, sculptures, and a series of animated video pieces.

 

The phrase "uneasiness in culture" is a direct translation of the German title of Sigmund Freud’s 1930 book Civilization And Its Discontents, in which civilization is a necessary force of restraint that makes things better for everyone by constraining our darker urges, thus leaving us better off but congenitally unfulfilled. We claw our way to meaning by pushing our vulnerability against the hard necessity of material reality--a quivering glob of flesh moving through impossible obstacles. The word “culture” also describes the yeast culture which acts as a performance troupe in these videos and installations.

Circles of flour protect sleepers and bring them prophetic dreams. But the cleverness of the dreamer is outpaced by the profundity of the dream. The dreamer awakes and wildly misinterprets the meaning of the dream, then takes up arms to force reality to conform to this misinterpretation. Dreams appear as theatrical presentations, contrived and cryptic. They embody actualities through deceptive representations of characters, animals, places. Most often, the entire dream world immediately evaporates upon awakening. Civilization is such a dream.