Prophets of Deceit

Prophets of Deceit

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Christian Jankowski, “16mm Mystery”, 2004

September 12, 2006

Prophets of Deceit
Exhibition: September 12-November 11, 2006

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Opening: September 12, 7:309 p.m.

CCA Wattis Institute, Logan Galleries
Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.7 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 a.m.6 p.m.
Lecture: Craig Baldwin, September 12, 6 p.m.
Timken Lecture Hall
Sponsored by CCA Media Arts

California College of the Arts, San Francisco campus
1111 Eighth Street
415.551.9210 /

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents Prophets of Deceit, an exhibition that looks into predictions and prophecies as guidelines to the development of history. This exhibition explores the significance of messianic and apocalyptic cults as systems restraining social behavior. Rather than announcing unsuspected events, claims of anticipated knowledge tend to administer fear and uncertainty in order to dictate the outcome of the future.

Looking into notions of mysticism, religion and the occult as guidelines that assess the development of history, Prophets of Deceit constitutes an essay on the pervading significance of messianic and apocalyptic cults both as systems of restraint of social behavior, and as seditious exercises that seek to subvert those very same structures that brought them into play, says curator Magali Arriola.

The works in the exhibition posit a series of scenarios in which retroactive myths and self-fulfilling prophecies are enacted as exercises of ideological juggling. In doing so, they not only point to the symptoms of a widespread phenomenon that embraces the specter of authoritarian irrationalism, but also investigate the role of art within the culture industry by questioning artists function and the interpretation of their messages in a media-saturated society.

Artists in the exhibition include Craig Baldwin, Tacita Dean, HCRH, John Menick, Raymond Pettibon, Mungo Thomson, Rod Dickinson, Christian Jankowski, Joachim Koester, Komar & Melamid, Melvin Moti, and PHAUSS (Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Erik Pauser).

Established in 1998, the CCA Wattis Institute serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of leading-edge local, national, and international contemporary culture. Through exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, performances, and publications in the fields of art, architecture, and design, the Wattis Institute fosters interaction among the students and faculty of California College of the Arts; art, architecture, and design professionals; and the general public. Jens Hoffmann has recently been named the new director of the CCA Wattis Institute.

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

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