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Langdon Graves Art @ Gallery Hijinks, San Francisco

Gallery Hijinks Artist: Langdon Graves

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I've always been interested in the big mysteries - why are we here, where will we go, what does this mean, why does that hurt? Etc. As a young person I swallowed the religion I was given not because it provided explanations, but because it rendered them unnecessary. Before the dawn of science in Western culture, it was considered sinful to inspect the insides of a human being, alive or dead. Created in God's own likeness, we were the purest objectification of his infinite wisdom. A peek at our innards would expose them to growing materialist ideas and threaten the preservation of the mysterious.

Marx famously denounced religion as the opiate of the masses. In an updated version, religion has been called "the placebo of the masses," appropriate inasmuch as belief is stronger and more lasting than narcotics. Also appropriate is that the quote has recently been attributed to the fictional pop culture icon Dr. Gregory House. He's not a doctor but he plays one on TV, who through the miracles of technology and entertainment can bring Americans closer to their insides than someone who's actually seen them. God, Doctor, Actor, Screenwriter - these figures can serve the same purpose, depending on how our beliefs have shaped what's real to us. Any one of them can fill the role of answer-giver or mystery-preserver.

Religion’s offer of mystery in place of explanation still fascinates me, as does blind faith in the practice of medicine. The theory and implementation of placebo is where the ideas for my work begin, examining our bodies as records of our way of thinking and our beliefs as the result of the limits of our bodies. Like belief, the work develops its own form and syncretic logic from objects and images reflecting established systems, personal idiosyncrasies, and bits and pieces of past, present and future mysteries.

I've always been interested in the big mysteries - why are we here, where will we go, what does this mean, why does that hurt? Etc. As a young person I swallowed the religion I was given not because it provided explanations, but because it rendered them unnecessary. Before the dawn of science in Western culture, it was considered sinful to inspect the insides of a human being, alive or dead. Created in God's own likeness, we were the purest objectification of his infinite wisdom. A peek at our innards would expose them to growing materialist ideas and threaten the preservation of the mysterious.

Religion’s offer of mystery in place of explanation still fascinates me, as does blind faith in the practice of medicine. The theory and implementation of placebo is where the ideas for my work begin, examining our bodies as records of our way of thinking and our beliefs as the result of the limits of our bodies. Like belief, the work develops its own form and syncretic logic from objects and images reflecting established systems, personal idiosyncrasies, and bits and pieces of past, present and future mysteries.

Langdon Graves Images:

Langdon Graves - The Lovers - graphite on mylar - 38" x 32"
Langdon Graves
The Lovers
graphite on mylar
38" x 32"
Langdon Graves - Sisters - graphite on mylar - 32" x 32"
Langdon Graves
Sisters
graphite on mylar
32" x 32"
Langdon Graves - Life Like - graphite on mylar - 42" x 32"
Langdon Graves
Life Like
graphite on mylar
42" x 32"

Blog Posts Featuring Langdon Graves

Gallery Hijinks · 2309 Bryant Street · San Francisco, CA 94110-2810
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