“We are chased by evil throughout our lives.” Federico Sosa (TheBDKX) states in introducing Dementophilia, his new exhibition at The Vordun Museum and Gallery. “Devils we try to hide, and slowly eat us up from inside, draining our strength. The worst of all evils. Ourselves.”
Dementophilia is described as “an abnormal, obsessive attraction towards insanity, and it is the perfect title for this exhibition. Located in the rear hall of The Vordun, it features eight paintings and eight sculptures, together with a large central mixed 2D and 3D element – the Vortex. Together they personify the darker imaginings from the depths of the mind
The eight images and eight statues are paired, the statues physical manifestations of the paintings, brought forth by the vortex bursting forth from the rear wall of the hall. Each painting / statue represents a creature – or is that an elemental aspect, a beast if you will, of our psyche? In addition, each painting is partnered with a description of the demon it represents: Enktrik, Zatrunnya, Beltaka, Fenniaq; Nelikaw, Trezykoy, Melkyze, Yiennak; each description reads as the writings of an unsettled mind – and what mind wouldn’t be unsettled seeing creatures such as these rising from the subconscious.
Thus, entering the hall is akin to entering those thoughts beneath our reasoned consciousness; a place where our personal devils reside; parts of our being alien and terrible – yet playing a vital role in forming our personality, again as Federico notes: “Locked inside, they can heal our wounds. Out in the open they reign. Beasts from within. Beasts of love and Pain. Beasts that are on the loose, fighting against the external consciousness.”
Within this exhibition, these beasts have been named, their nature understood, suggesting their keeper is long familiar with them. Their presence speaks to that battle with an “external” consciousness, a mind acutely aware of their existence. A mind willing to make them manifest – or, perhaps, a mind succumbing to their dominance. It is down to us to decide which.
Dementophilia is intriguing in both its concept and interpretation. As manifestations of darker thoughts and desires, they capture the unreality of the subconscious. As pieces of art, they offer an abstract hint of demons from the realms of Hieronymous Bosch.
I did find myself wondering how much deeper the impact of the exhibit might be if presented in a more tailored environment / setting and with an appropriate Windlight, but nevertheless, it still makes for a thought-provoking visit.
- The Vordun Museum and Gallery (Rated: Moderate)