(WINDSOR, ON) – Those who see art as also being investigative journalism might well delight in the multi-media exhibition now running until the end of April at downtown’s Artcite. There, Toronto artist Grayson Richards has put together an assembly of documentation supporting the theory that governments are messing with people’s brains; literally.
One of Richards’ specialties is following a, “path toward understanding or confronting systems of state and corporate power; particularly those which obscure their influence.”
In An Impeccable State, Richards presents what he has uncovered suggesting a, “heavily-redacted development contract requesting prototypes for a technology capable of, ‘detection and realignment of oppositional ideologies in the field.’”
Much of his evidence zeroes in on, “experimental neurotechnologies; an emergent field involving direct and indirect manipulation of the brain.”
Laid out cautiously and precisely on a table in the gallery is a wealth of evidential materials showing the extent to which powers that be will go in their attempts to manipulate humans. It is all aided by a video, Cutting the Stone, which presents a conversation between those involved in a quasi-medical procedure.
The reference, and what is discussed in the short film, bear reference to Hieronymus Bosch’s 1494 painting of a charlatan doctor, who wears an odd funnel-type hat, performing a removal of the “stone of madness” from a patient’s head. It is doubtful the removal ends the patient’s misery and pain and more likely will simply add to it.
The video operates on multiple levels. On one, it replicates psychiatric questionnaires used to determine schizophrenia. On another, the focus is on early detection of radicalization of British schoolchildren.
Artcite believes the exhibit has considerable relevance to the local audience noting how it, “urges the viewer to (re)consider the physical and psychological construction of social identities, the state architectures which support them, and the present/future extension of state power into the cognitive realm.” All of the details of how this plays out can be found among the printed artifacts on the table.
As is custom, there is no admission fee at Artcite, which is in the Capitol Theatre building. Although slated to end on April 14, current reaction suggests an extension to at least April 28 might be in order.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 5pm.