The Scary

Nov. 5, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016

New Media Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

The first great work of literature, the 4000 year old Epic of Gilgamesh, features a zombie apocalypse set in a glittering city. One of the seminal works of old English Literature, 8th Century poem Beowulf, is set in a brutal world populated by screeching monster-hybrids. From the beginning, great fictional horror has been designed to instill fear and reflect our personal, social and cultural anxieties. The best fictional horror takes advantage of the basic fear types: extinction, mutilation, separation, shame and loss of autonomy. In the construction of horror, place can be as important as character, at times almost becoming a character. Place is used to lure us in and reveal what is hidden: scanning the depths of dark oceans, the boundaries of the universe, haunting our safe homes, invading our personal dreamscapes and infecting our digital landscapes. Over time horror has moved from dark gothic castles to suburban homes. The safer and more banal a place appears, the less likely it is to be so. Wherever anxiety and fear are reflected, horror is sure to find a place. The artists in The Scary cross and re-cross boundaries. They deconstruct horror and place; invading, cutting, erasing, replicating, reflecting and rebuilding. They turn horror back on itself, reflecting and searching for meaning. Be careful what you look for...what you find might be cryptic, uncanny, unsettling, humorous and even...scary.

Works Shown

Horror Chase

2002, installation with custom software

This work is based on the climatic chase sequence from Evil Dead II. The artists re-enact the scene on a specially designed stage set. Each shot in the sequence is individually digitized. Custom computer software selects these clips at random, playing them back in a seamless but continuously variable way, changing the speed and direction of play. The images are projected at cinematic scale and the computer hardware is installed in a black briefcase, which forms part of the installation.