the World Ends
presents predictions about how the world will end. One is from what
we would consider a mainstream source: an outline of
what may happen in a few billion years by a couple of scientists
who were reported on a CNN web site. Others come from sources that
have a rather more meta-physical inflection. The Bible Decoded
is a much reduced version of a text that parallels current events
with events described in the Book of Daniel and in the Revelation
Of St John The Divine and projects the date of future events
the approach of the multitude to Zoar, the UN distributing food
to starving people according to resolution 666, up to and including,
the rapture, the return of Christ etc. The full, baroque, version
can be found through putting The Bible Decoded into
a search engine and following the links. Terrence McKenna was a
theorist, thinker and psychotropic astronaut a sort of hard-core
Timothy Leary who was on a chemical, shamanistic, quest.
His theories and visions became significant to a certain sector
of the dance/ecstasy techno-teleological tribes a decade or so back,
just before his death. Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of Scientology
and her prediction comes from 1910, whilst Zeta Talk is rather more
current and is being channelled in the USA from a race of hyper
intelligent aliens the Zeta. The Rasputin prophecy may in
fact be a fake: it is attributed to the Russian priest but why the
Loch Ness Monster should play such a large role in his private cosmology
remains somewhat puzzling.
it is easy to see most of these as a sort of intellectual freak
show, each of these texts constitutes a truth for a number of people.
The one by the physicists is the one closest to that which would
be taught at school. The Bible Decoded comes from a
body of belief that certainly animated the Reagan administration
of the USA its pretty mainstream Jerry Fallwell wacko
US Christianity and is probably shaping actions in the current
Republican administration. There is a case to be made that the American
Fundamentalist Right Wings surprising support for the state
of Israel - surprising as most of their mindset is classically anti-Semitic-
is because of the requirement in Biblical prophecy for the re-building
if the Temple in Jerusalem before we can progress to the second
coming of Christ. The identification of the UN as being a tool of
the antichrist can definately be seen to be shaping certain political
outlooks. Tom Cruise believes in Mary Baker Eddy.
events that each of the texts describe are of course unknowable.
There is no possible contemporary empirical proof of their accuracy.
Rather they are indicative of the way that texts generate possibilities
and realities: and worldviews their own worlds. Here we have wildly
varying descriptions of the same event; all of which jostle each
other, destabalise, refuse to co-exist although they can
all occupy the same space and time. In this, Ways the World
Ends continues exploration, and celebration, of the mischevious
anarchic reality building processes of language, and
the ways we model worlds and understandings and narratives explored
in previous work The Alternative History Paintings (1997)
series used texts positing alternatives to historical events
The Incas beat the Spanish, Brutus didnt do it , Brian Jones
fired the builders to generate alternative, fugitive, universes.
The video Various Things Explained (1998) used objects
on a dining table; wine glasses, breadsticks, salted almonds, that
were moved around in various configurations to describe wildly different
things..How I broke up with a girlfriend, Marxs theory of
Surplus Value, how a nerve ending works. Lacans theory of
desire and the persistence of the Meroviginian Bloodline
object taking on a radically different function and symbolic role
in each narrative. A recent work A Walk up the Hill in Six
Different Countries documents a dash through the Australian
bush narratied by the breathless descriptions of the geographies
of Utopia, Narnia, Shangri La and the Isle of Dionysis in a sort
of immersive video game. Here, rather than history paintings, I
like to think that maybe we have here the text versions of the grand
apocalyptic narratives of Heironymous Bosch or John Martin. Descriptions
(and therefore the generation) of events that we will never know.
Unless, after all, one of them turns out to be real.