On view at Made In NY Media Center by IFP until Tuesday, April 30

Various Artists: DIGITAL FAIRY TALES: VENGEANCE IS MINE

When one encounters the term “Vengeance,” it is with excitement, suspicion and dread.  For vengeance to exist, there must be a prior perception of victimhood, a grievance.  The scale of which is determined by the protagonist, but the roles can quickly be flipped.  And flipped and flipped again.  The chain of vengeance can go on and on and, unless broken, lead to ever escalating levels of calamity. 

This uniquely human behavior has been with us from the beginning.  Ancient religious texts carry double-edged readings of impending wrath and the fruitlessness of extravagant retaliation.  Vengeance has been at the absolute heart of drama throughout the ages and still carries its edge and gravitas.  But as ubiquitous as vengeance may be, one must ask, “what is the price of vengeance?  If vengeance is mine, then what do I owe for its execution?” 

In contemporary times, cultural fault lines have become more apparent.  Though differences have always been a source of easily fanned suspicions, in our current and ever evolving digital environments, the villanous “other” is a ready tool used to divide those with otherwise common interests.  It has become almost fashionable to adopt the role of “victim” in response to a perceived slight, only to feign outrage and level an escalated counter attack.  This game goes on and on, since the beginning of humankind.

Reconciliation is the opposite of vengeance and must be considered in any examination of the idea. 

 

Featuring new work from: Zoe Duchesne, Richard Jochum, Nina Schönefeld, Dahye Kim, Josh Graham, Sarah Mock, Radka Salcmannova, Nicole Antebi, Thomas D. Rotenberg, and Matthias Fritsch