"Dystopia Toyland" is an exploration of the darker side of the duality of man. It is inspired by the formative moments in our youth when we first learned of true violence, a time when we're most susceptible and our psyches are still in development. As children, our first understanding of the adult world comes from using toys to play out scenarios we believe to be a reflection of the grown up world around us. At the time, we are taught that violence is a heroic act of self sacrifice and that the good guys always win.
In most places in the world today, violence is much more real, and considered a hard fact of day to day life for children. For the Western world however, it's something less tangible, something we see only on our televisions and in our video games. Why then does it permeate throughout our culture as prevalently as it does? Is it due to the benefist of imperial advancement? The validation found in religious text? Or is it simply encoded in our DNA?
The fact is that humanity seems to have become less violent over time, but our means to destroy have grown exponentially. Violence is not as accepted as it has been throughout history, but we still learn to accept it as a fact of being human. We tell ourselves that there will always be war, oppression of women and minorities, and that children will grow up in a world where they accept violence as a part of adulthood.
"Dystopia Toyland" is an attempt to engage in this dialog using imagery from our collective childhood while also examining the disassociated visions of violence we have learned to accept as a part of day to day life.
The show opened at Good Mother Gallery in april of 2015.