Deus Ex Machina
Assemblage with radio receiver tuned to an unused station, motor oil and cast concrete
34 x 69 x 24 inches
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Roughly translated, Deus Ex Machina means “A God from a machine.” Much of my work is derived from the dogma and accouterments of religion and philosophy. You may recognize a resemblance to the Biblical Arc of the Covenant, which was used by the ancient Hebrews for—among other things—communicating directly with God. In this piece, a radio receiver concealed within is set to an unused frequency. Faint sizzles of static and random whistling indicate that the device is anticipating a broadcast from Allah Jehovah. Some demon, (or is that a god?) is extracted from yet another pool of black oil at the end of a long chain. I once walked into the gallery and could hear the faint broadcast of a radio evangelist bellowing fire and brimstone just under the static.
Brudniak used the title of this work for his 1991 solo exhibition at the Lynn Goode Gallery in Houston. While he satisfied a desire to make a cathedral-like installation using all of his works, he would still like to install an exhibition in a real cathedral. Relating this work to his The Gulf of Pandemonium where many demons may live, we may ask if Brudniak is drowning them or simply examining them.
PAUL HARRIS – Spiritual Anxieties, Dysfunction and Personal Dilemmas