Joseph Nechvatal

8 March 1983 - 26 March 1983
Opening Reception 8 March 1983 8pm

East Gallery:

Life Death Patience

New York artist Joseph Nechvatal will be presenting wall murals and a multimedia installation at Mercer Union.

Joseph Nechvatal has channeled an early interest in political, non-violent activism into artistic production: drawings, paintings, murals, political cartoons, videotapes, prints, posters, books, super-8 films, and designs for industrial materials, most of which offer commentary on strategic arms build-ups and the prospect of nuclear war.

“Not retro. Not Punk. I’m worried about nuclear war, accidental, limited or all-out. Will the existing nuclear weapons and those which are now rapidly being made ever be used? If never used, these Bombs are a wasteful make-work project which benefit the high-tech industries; a dangerous corporate WPA program. At worst, when if used: a colossal murder/suicide. And without the willingness to use them they lose all psychological value. I’m interested in contemplation…in the intellectual life saving us from ending the world. I’m interested in the wallpaper concept, where an image is here one moment, and then gone, or replaced by an alternative interpretation.

My work is to be looked into, not at. The drawings are not very functional as art objects being non-decorative and slight in material. They function more as a stimulation functions – like a really good computer game, only one doesn’t move one’s fingers even. They are visual displays with which our minds may make and unmake distinction. The making/unmaking of distinctions is the fundamental operation of our minds. The ability to be able to make poytransforms in real life would be most helpful in straightening out our current dangerous world/selves.”

J. Nechvatal.