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Virgil de Voldère Gallery is proud to present its second solo exhibition with Brody Condon. In the three works on view, the artist digitally reconstructs a trio of well-known late-medieval paintings from northern Europe by Hans Memling, Dieric Bouts, and Gerard David. By reimagining the religious content of the original works, the artist presents calm scenes of transcendence that slowly give way to anxiety and spiritual trauma.
For 3 Modifications, Condon modifies current computer games with strategies and tools taken directly from online participatory subcultures to create slowly animated, transfigured works that are like moving paintings. The subversive tactics of hacking and the intervention into commercial computer games that characterize the artist’s previous work, however, have given way to a critical examination of the politics of representation. Formally, Condon conflates the development of perspective and realism in Flemish art from the fifteenth century with the evolution of computer graphics in present-day games. Thematically, though, the work in 3 Modifications explores the roots of 1960s countercultural ideologies, the religious environment of early modern Europe, and various means of transcending the physical body through drugs, prayer, and meditation, as well as through game avatars and role-playing. Shown as projected moving-image installations from small custom-made computers, these “self-playing” games run continuously—like games waiting for the viewer to pick up the controller.
Condon denies interactivity—a crucial feature of the game medium—to the viewer. Rather, the works in 3 Modifications emphasize the possibility of three-dimensional installation and performance art within a digital screen space. Further confronting contemporary countercultural beliefs with late-medieval mainstream religious iconography, Condon explores cultural misinterpretations of historical visual archetypes, presenting an anxious space where history, religion, personal mythology, and fantasy intermingle uneasily.