Black Floor Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
July 1 – August 1, 2005
Barbaric Stories creates a partial psychological timeline of fear. Fear of the unknown
Matt’s work draws upon the grand folkloric notions of the past in order to examine personal and societal fears, concerns, and obsessions in light of general human attitudes towards the unknown. Much of his work seeks to resurrect some bits of the fears, superstitions, and supernatural beliefs that may now often be reviled as archaic nonsense, but nevertheless remain within the deep, historical roots of human experience. A text-carved wax jack-o-lantern, for example, serves not only to call to mind seasonal festivity, but also to provoke a consideration of human traditions and myth origin. Similarly, the work Here Be Dragons, a world map peppered only with small, hand-drawn, folkloric monsters, asks that the viewer consider the historical fears and uncertainties that existed around the globe, as well as their present day realities and vestiges.
Baker focuses on the gap between science fiction and environmentalism, and points at