"Caring is the new Sarcasm"
3 December - 23 December 2009
The title and nuances in the spelling give the best, most accurate view into the concept behind the work in the exhibition. Within the title, “caring is the new sarcasm”, the ‘c’ in ‘caring’, and the ‘s’ and second ‘a’ in ‘sarcasm’, are replaced with a copyright symbol, a dollar sign and a ringed anarchy symbol respectively.
The ‘caring’ mentioned in the title is that of a social nature, a sense of social responsibility, usually left on the shoulders of the protesters and anarchists working at cafes, living in share houses and completing arts and left wing politics degrees, but Pericich, using only the title, proposes that these traditionally extremist viewpoints of equality and justice are not only part of the norm, but a part of a copyrighted and profit making system: Che Guevara is an icon of fashion, stencil and graffiti artists are popular commercial money makers, water wise and recycling are everyday facets as opposed to 10 years ago, every party in today’s political arena has a pro-environmental agenda (whether they follow through with it is a different story).
Pericichs prints in the exhibition take community enagement and education of social injustice and responsibility to a whole different level, beyond the traditional propaganda flyers handed out by activists. The large editioned woodcuts are for mass education on the construction and use of tools and structures to be used by protesters and demonstrators. The social conscience and anarchist, renegade knowledge are now purchasable commodities. Available to all. Breaking down the exclusivity of the radical and unfortunately undermining the original passion of revolution.
What was once seen as fringe ideals is now widely accepted, so much so that it survives as a cliché, a parody of itself. Even terrorism is becoming cool: Osama is one of the most watched video bloggers on the planet; whenever he makes a video it doesn’t get uploaded to youtube but gets circulated worldwide by news networks. The most popular videogame at the moment is also the one most fraught with moral ambiguity in the fact that the player can play either a member of the military or an armed terrorist and in cases there’s opportunity to kill unarmed civilians. Capitalization has upped the ante and just made the extreme, a little bit more so. Or less. It depends on how profitable it’ll be.