Kadar Brock: the purple rose ashram of the new age
November 12, 2022 - January 28, 2023
Over the last decade Kadar Brock’s practice has been engaged in an ongoing act of contemplative erasure. A self reflective process of recording imagery and eradicating it, continuously, over and over again, in an attempt to make sense of the fractured reality that is memory, formative experience, and the kaleidoscope of imagery our minds record as lived experience. In recent years, Brock has been diving into the history of a new age cult known as The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), and its founder John-Roger Hinkins, through research and pilgrimages to various sites throughout the country. This research and interest point deeper into Brock’s past, his upbringing within the cults’ teachings and its community, and his memories of this chapter of his life. While the work itself isn’t entirely about MSIA or its founder, John-Roger’s claim to be “The Mystical Traveler”, an all-knowing being that incarnates every generation to share its spiritual wisdom, does engage Brocks’ interest in how memory and identity are formed. How every layer of sediment in the composed bedrock of our identity is a chapter of information, mashed together; a totality made up of many collisions and revisions scattered through time.
Brock's process consists of un-stretching and scraping down his representational paintings. He coats the ground in a primer-sealer, then sands the surface down to create textured and patinated surfaces that hint in fragments to the original painting. Brock then paints another image and the process is repeated. Brock’s own life has moved on from the experiences of the past, but as his works highlight, the past is a key to make better sense of the present. The continuous process of re-imaging and erasing one's own experiences is something we do everyday, our view of the world is shaped by the fragments of memory and lived experience in our minds. For Brock this process manifests in works that stand still with time, all the info and none at all, together in one beautifully complex surface of record.