Amy Bessone, Bendix Harms, Jules de Balincourt, Christoph Ruckhaberle, Eddie Martinez, Francesca Di Mattio

The Cannibals Muse

June 19th –
August 8th, 2010
  • Bendix Harms
    Ben Dix,2008
    Colored pencil on paper
    42 x 30 cm
  • Francesca Di Mattio
    Mattio Head and mask 28,2010
    Oil on linen
    50.8 x 40.6 cm
  • Eddie Martinez
    Oil on canvas
    76.2 x 60.9 cm
  • Eddie Martinez
    Gumball dreams,2010
    Oil and acrylic on canvas
    152.4 x 101.6 cm
  • Eddie Martinez
    Untitled (bird on tree stump),2009
    Mixed media on canvas
    121.9 x 152.4 cm
  • Christoph Ruckhaberle
    Untitled (portrait on paper 8),2009
    Oil pastel on paper
    74 x 54 cm
  • Christoph Ruckhaberle
    Untitled (2 women),2006
    Linocut on paper
    200 x 270 cm
  • Jules de Balincourt
    Balincourt Masked history,2008
    Oil on panel
    152.4 x 121.9 cm
  • Bendix Harms
    Colored pencil on paper
    42 x 30 cm
  • Amy Bessone
    Oil on canvas
    231.1 x 254 cm

The Cannibal’s Muse is a reflection of the polyglotism going on in contemporary art. Craft, folk, outsider, non-western, decorative, applied art, pop, Dada, social media, and poetry, are devoured whole then synthesized.

An intertwining of traditions and integrity of materials encompass heterogeneity and vitality of expression. The strength of the artists lies in their formal clarity rather than naturalism. Many of the ideas of primitivism and modernity from a hundred years ago can also be found in this early 21st century. Within these parameters, the paintings, sculptures, drawings, and music videos owe their frames of aesthetic references to a conjugation of histories.

Through art historical precedents and the artist’s self-aware strategies, a formal trans-coding of each fragment occurs allowing for a mediation of images and contexts. Within this decentralized referential field, linear history is no longer the supreme measure to classify and rank signifier’s. One code to another code is a translation of one big idea.

In its overtly ritualistic double consciousness (JUNG) a broken and sparkling fracture in the gaps of media are unified; their separate distinctions are now closer together. The artist, priest, and artisan have become one; the master narrative is dead.


There may be poetic implications, and an impulse to breath truth into outmoded ideologies. Because the dead master narrative is overtly subversive it feeds itself the useful cognitive associations and discards the superfluous loose ends. Its mysterium is its own enthronement, not because of homogeneity but despite it. It is not fractured but made whole by fractious calculation. There are no servant narratives so much as there is one big overarching idea. Since there is only one big idea art thus quantifies the value of that one big idea in immortal ways.

As the shifty old paradigm wobbles, the archaic and antiquity come to the fore in much of contemporary art. Amidst collectivity and destabilized cultural signposts the artist’s iconoclastic individualism carves out a zone of stability within a thousand points of light. Due to the virtual interface what used to be canonized is now cannibalized through an overlap of images. Still the muse must be conjured, and reconnect us to the relics of antiquity.

Max Henry is an independent curator and critic.

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