One Shot (Five Inch Circle), each unique, archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with silver scratch-off material, white mat. 14” x 18”.
Installation view at Crybaby Gallery, Toronto. Oct.13 - Nov. 3. 2022.
The Lottery in Babylon (2022)
Have you read Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Lottery in Babylon”? In Borges’ story, the citizens of a mythical country organize a different sort of lottery: players either win a prize or incur a penalty. Over time, participation in the lottery becomes mandatory for everyone. The penalties and prizes become more extreme (torture, death), but also more subtle (a promotion, a seduction). As this strange lottery entrenches itself into society, it becomes difficult for citizens to understand which parts of their lives are organic and which parts stem from the lottery.
The grey circles in these works conceal pictures, which have been layered under scratch-off material — the same medium as you’d find on a lottery ticket. I’ve hidden all sorts of images: some beautiful, some curious, some bizarre.
I think a lot about making art in a moment of great visual overstimulation and oversaturation. By some estimates, 1.5 trillion photos will be taken this year. Add on the 6,000 - 10,000 ads that the average person sees daily, throw in the relentless churn of social media, and you’re probably as exhausted by – yet addicted to – pictures as I am.
My wish is that you’ll take one of these pieces home, and leave it unscratched forever. Ideally, you will be happy leaving the work as-is, existing as an idea. But perhaps your curiosity will win, and you’ll scratch a bit off to see what lies beneath.
Maybe you like playing the lottery, too.