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'A Healthy Dose of Nihilism', Group Show at The Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Columbus

There’s this pit, but maybe it’s better described as a deeply hollowed-out black hole. It seems like it can just suck light out of the air, this void, or maybe this unknown (the name doesn’t really matter). It’s kind of embedded there, staring back at me (at you). Do you have dreams of stumbling onto the cavernous mouth of a gaping mine shaft in pale moonlight? Don’t stare at the center, It’s almost never-ending. And its growing. Pretend to ignore it, maybe you don’t really see it (you don’t see it, you feel it), but it’s there; the eyes of the future staring back at us. Today, maybe more than before, the weight of the future feels unimaginable. 

Against this unconscionable void, The Ministry of Culture & Tourism is please to present A Healthy Dose of Nihilism featuring seven artistic practices investigating the failed promises of contemporary institutions and ideals. Above their layered dissections into the inequality embedded in many current-day systems, the exhibiting artists also demonstrate the emancipatory potential found within nihilism as the first step towards long-term permanent change. Although incorporating nihilistic imagery and attitudes found within popular culture, the group antithetically offers impassioned and open-ended discussion attempting to combat seemingly unassailable current-day issues that continue to contribute towards the adoption of nihilistic tendencies and/or interest. 

Underlined by the recent and continued global instability, emerging generations will exist in potentially vastly different future landscapes than today. Through seemingly endless current and impending crises, populations (including myself) are adopting increasingly nihilistic attitudes towards current social, political, and environmental conditions. Historically, “Nihilism” signaled apathetic attitudes manifested from a personal loss of confidence in and feelings of failure surrounding current societal structures, traditions, and politics in place (religious, social, economic systems). A Healthy Dose of Nihilism includes a variety of eclectic practices that undermine complacent prevailing attitudes regarding shared socio-political conditions. But that’s a very academic way of putting it. Specifically, these artists to grapple with this void of the future, and where they (we) can possibly fit in-between the endless injustices and inequality. 

Focusing on promoting both local and national emerging to mid-career artists, each project will investigate critically relevant topics through the lens of contemporary nihilism. Often bringing to light the (often invisible) instruments of economic, social, and political oppression, Nihilism gathers dynamic and critically- informed artists to showcase and discuss some of the currently growing list of personal and group issues. Taken together, the exhibition ultimately argues for the need of these voiced concerns to generate nihilistic attitudes in order to ultimately create new, more equitable and non-oppressive living conditions for youth populations. Hopefully, maybe, if we all recognize the pit, the one that’s maybe affected everyone but you, we can start to understand why so many things need to change. Maybe not. But just as these artists show, it won’t be for a lack of trying. 

30.7.22 — 18.9.22

Austin James Brady, Alexis E Mabry, Luke Murphy, Maggie Myers, Anoushé Shojae-Chaghorvand, Cameron Spratley, Bradley Weyandt

The Ministry of Culture & Tourism

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