(Lies, Honesty)

(Lies, Honesty)
Found 05/2015, Goodwill (Metric and 183)

Full image here.

0515GWMetLiesHonesty-Detail2A collision of light and dark ideas, a collage of darkness in the media, images of…who? Perhaps the artist, perhaps God. The imagery and text of (Lies, Honesty) are so densely packed that it’s useful to analyze the layers of the image: first the collage, then the textual, then the images of the body.

0515GWMetLiesHonesty-Detail4The base of the canvas is the densely claustrophobic collage of text clippings, to which the image builds a response. Unlike the word-cloud that floats above them, the clippings are entirely negative (Kill, Sudden Death, Face of Evil, The Lost Boys, Secrets, Tainted Love, Off to War). Only one is ambiguous, Facts: The Antidrug, which at first seems to be a lynchpin holding the collage layer together: with enough facts, we can make sense of this dark world. Yet with the saturation of the canvas, and indeed of the modern news experience, is this true? Or will we drown in information?

0515GWMetLiesHonesty-Detail3The other two layers drift over the collage canvas. The handwritten text is visually the strongest of the three. In part this graffiti seems to be a translation of the layer below, with dark keywords like hate, ignorance, money, murder; yet the “response” layer is not relentlessly grim. Honor, Honesty, Charity. Two of these concepts deserve special attention: “Freedom” and God/Love. The fact that “Freedom” is called out in quotes questions its integrity as an idea, perhaps we are drawn to the perception of freedom, but not true freedom. That God and Love are linked together, the only two words that seem composed together, heightens their importance. Is (Lies, Honesty) at heart a religious piece?

The body layer, which seems to underlay the graffiti, dismembers its subject: eyes, a mouth, arms, and perhaps a tongue drift between the collage and response to the collage. Between the crazed and saturated world of media message and the layer of human response, the individual exists, translating between the two worlds, creating a cycle of news begetting action, which itself begets news. Yet fundamentally this wheel is a broken one, as the world of the media is darkly sensational, ignoring both the individual experience and the positive actions that may result.

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