Chris Cran   Inherent Vice

December 5, 1987 - January 24, 1988

Curator: Joan Stebbins
Organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery with funding assistance from The Canada Council and the Alberta Art Foundation .

The inclusion of Chris Cran in open-ended narrative scenes, with elements and props drawn from popular culture, is reminiscent of boys’ adventure stories from the forties. Cran, as a sort of comic-book everyman, becomes the vehicle through which we confront ambiguous, anecdotal events. We become, in fact, voyeurs of his voyeurism. In this incarnation, as a puckish trickster, Cran plays upon western culture’s need for entertainment, titillation and suspense.

The Western intellect is trained to search for the why in any implied narrative. Denied the answer to these questions by the moral ambiguity and open-endedness of Cran’s scenarios, one must still confront the reality and unquestionable authority of the painting as paint. Where the real and the unreal, the expected and the unexpected co-exist, an alternation of attitude is initiated that pivots on looking. Aware of the desire that is stirred by images, Cran abandons us in confrontation with enigmatic fantasies. In his own words, “the art context is broken down as the viewer participates in filling the gap between ludicrous proposition and apparent fact.”

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