Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What are we supposed to care about?

Apathy--acedia--my favorite of the seven deadlies, yet often so hard to identify. Where is the line between culpable laziness and sabbath calm? Between hardness of heart and holy detachment? Why is the tortoise praised, but the sloth reviled?

"Twenty Days of Apathy," Heidi Neff's recent show in Brooklyn, looks at le vice du jour through a series of striking--and unsettling--drawings and paintings. Here's what she wrote about the show:

Heidi Neffʼs search for meaning has always inspired her work, but it is increasingly hard for her to know what she is supposed to care about.

Through sources such as CNN Breaking News, we get constant
reminders that people are dying in wars and natural disasters alongside celebrity gossip. Britney Spearsʼ latest breakdown gets equal weight with a tsunami that killed over 170,000 people.

Neffʼs paintings based on illuminated manuscripts seek to explore and reflect this conundrum by putting Internet-based headlines and news stories within a more intimate context.

Her most recent drawings and paintings juxtapose headlines and to-do lists or other diaristic drawings of non-eventful days. By doing this, she hopes to expose her own apathy and possibly find a way out of it.

No comments: