Exhibitions / De/coding the Apocalypse @ Panacea Museum Trust [curating]

08.03.2018 to 01.07.2018

De/coding the Apocalypse

v1.0 by: Michael Takeo Magruder, 2014

Panacea Museum Trust

9 Newnham Road
Bedford
MK40 3NX

A visual art exhibition exploring contemporary creative visions inspired by and based on the Book of Revelation.

About the Project:

De/coding the Apocalypse is a visual art exhibition that investigates our enduring fascination with the Book of Revelation, updating and interrogating both its positive and negative aspects. The word 'apocalypse' originally indicated an 'unveiling', and the Book itself not only documents the destruction of the current world, but also maps out the creation of a new, better one.

The exhibition consists of five new media installations that are constructed using a range of digital technologies (such as computers, mobile devices, code systems, live data and user interactivity) and physical materials associated with traditional installation, painting, print, video and sculpture. This blending of new and old updates and expands the concepts and contexts that have surrounded the Book of Revelation throughout its history. By aligning contemporary art and theological study, the exhibition aims to create new ways of looking at the ancient text and make it relevant for modern audiences.

Artistic Reflection:

I was a child of the Cold War era living in my nation's capital surrounded by the incessant rhetoric and proxy wars of two ideologically opposed superpowers – all made real by the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Even at that young age I was already fascinated with both technology and religion. Upon reading the Book of Revelation for the first time I wondered to myself if John the Seer wrote of things like locust hordes and falling stars because he could not understand, much less describe, swarms of apache helicopters and the sight of missiles raining from an evening sky.

Now, three decades later, I watch my daughter grow up in a very different world that is defined by data, networks and code. And in this age of such technological possibility and destructive potential, I can't help but wonder what end times she imagines in her own quiet moments of personal reflection. Her fears (or hopes) about the final days that she might witness are certainly not the same as those from my youth. My dreams never materialised, but hers might. So I look to her and try to understand what is her Apocalypse.

In Dialogue with:

Prof. Ben Quash [ academic project lead ] and Alfredo Cramerotti [ curatorial project lead ]

With Critical Inputs from:

Prof. Edward Adams, Ms. Michelle Fletcher, Dr. Natasha O’Hear and Dr. Aaron Rosen [ academic 'readings' ]

Martin McGrath [ exhibition design ]

Drew Baker, Erik Fleming and Ben Jastram [ technology design ]