July 20, – August 12, 2010. Rude Gallery located at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Denver COWitches Cradle is a collection of collages and video works by Mario Zoots. A “witches cradle” refers to an altered state of consciousness. During the witch persecutions in Europe, witches were put in bags and strung up on trees. This same group of people deemed “witches” eventually ended up experimenting with the sensory deprivation techniques that were once used on them as punishment. Similar sensory deprivation techniques are used by shamans and dervishes.
The collage-based works in Witches Cradle use a combination of paper collage and digital manipulation. Each work carefully alters an existing image that could originally be found on the Internet, in print publications or in a photograph. The combination of collage approaches and appropriation of images used for advertisements, news and entertainment illuminates the overload of imagery and information found in contemporary consumerist society.
By making obviously crafted and often absurd combinations of imagery, Mario challenges our perception of and relationship to everyday mundane imagery. The two videos selected for this exhibition play from antiquated computer monitors strewn across the floor. This provoking exhibition alludes to sensory deprivation by bombarding the viewer with image and information overload.