“Today I announce a new plan to explore space and extend a human presence across our solar system.”
(G.W. Bush, January 14, 2004)
With permanent human colonies on Mars within the century the ultimate goal of President Bush’s “revitalized” space program, has introduced a future not unlike the naïve visions of space travel and Martian conquest from fifty years ago. Somberly contrasting this optimism is a hidden negativity our days on Earth may finally be numbered. A Renewed Spirit of Discovery is a collection of work by local artist Eric Baskauskas, who looks to the future of humankind with these things in mind.
In his work, Baskauskas explores themes such as discontent, anxiety and security in middle-class America. The comfort afforded by the middle-class lifestyle is known to produce apathy in large doses. By moving this familiar environment to the Red Planet, Baskauskas aims to investigate the bizarre nature of complacency and banality.
While life in suburbia can be mundane and wholly uninspiring, it is also peculiar in its denial and repression of “real” life a passive detachment from the rest of humanity. When so isolated from the world or better yet solar system, how can one summon the spirit to resist indifference? Is a question raised by the artist
NASA’s “spirit of discovery” is echoed not only in Baskauskas’ practice he has produced numerous paintings and drawings exploring these themes but in the behavior of his protagonists. While the sameness of day-to-day life can be numbing, there remains in these characters a deep desire to find moments of purity and joy they are on their own quest to find the extraordinary in the vastness of youth.
“A Renewed Spirit of Discovery” is now being shown at Voz Alta located at 1544 Broadway San Diego, CA 92101. The Opening Reception will take place this Saturday, July 29th from 6 -10 p.m.
For more information visit: www.vozalta.org online or contact the curator Camilo Ontiveros (619) 398-6872.