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© 2018 by Jude Griebel

Illuminated Collapse

Illuminated Collapse builds on my past sculptures, merging figure and ground to highlight human connection to the surrounding world. In these sculptures, unsettling dioramic scenes unfold on the surface of circular, wooden bases and terrestrial globes. Anatomies/ landscapes are engaged in dramatic acts of self-consumption and destruction, projecting a metaphorical End of Times narrative. Mirroring our own world through their miniature elements, the works reflect on contemporary consumption, industrial development, and inherent environmental degradation. The works combine scientific warning with speculative fantasy and diverse cultural references, using personal symbolism and metaphor to register the concept of planetary collapse. 

 

Recent years have heralded predictions of final days in the guise of the Doomsday Clock, Mayan hieroglyphs, Hollywood disaster movies and an overwhelming flood of articles and scientific reports of species extinction and unsustainability. Adding to this subconscious burden is environmental degradation on a vast scale that many choose to deflect in order to proceed in a stable manner. My sculptures attempt to embody this repressed and deflected anxiety, delivering it back to the viewer in ways that are self-deprecating and playful, prioritizing possibility and transformation over closure. 

The obsessive craft quality of the work subverts various functions and histories of the miniature and diorama. The works occupy a grey area between traditional natural history displays—as crafted illusion understood as fact—to the toy model, a miniature realm on which one is able to insert their ideas and fantasies into a broader picture. From this liminal space, the sculptures describe both difficult fact and dystopic fiction, attempting to mediate personal space within them.