Meg Forsyth, Hips and Screws, 2018
Acrylics, gesso and ink on canvas, 120 x 90 cm
The sound of a snapping bone is a halting reminder of the flawed vessel we carry our thoughts in. After the adrenaline rush has subsided we enter a well oiled machine for recovery. Centuries of accumulated medical knowledge are applied in an instant of gauzes, painkillers and intricate devices entering our bodies. It is exactly this moment, when faulty flesh carrying feelings of intimacy and shame comes in contact with the rigid, sterilized materiality of the hospital, that has special significance for Meg Forsyth.
The scene can be read as a self-devised process of alienation. The strange tendency of humans to create systems that never seem to be well-suited for themselves. Rather, they are designed for an ever distant other, constructed out of generalizations and statistics. As an analogy, the process of surgery vividly brings to light the abstract constructions of thought that are needed to solve problems. A blanket solution almost always has preference over an individual one. To this day the recommended dosages of certain medicines and additives are calculated based on the needs of a generic white male. In the hospital the forces of industry and market violently clash with the needs of an individual.
Still, Abstraction is a deeply human process. Precisely those reductions of reality that are perceived to be on the most extreme end of this spectrum - like mathematics, philosophical theory and the arts - could only be the result of human thought. We certainly are the only ones who appreciate it. Structures and systems form the backbone of mankind's ever-persisting endeavor: to have control. In a way, man has created the inhumane systems that now form its most imposing threat.
There is a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips and the future might be dependent on our ability to engineer the climate. The arranged marriage was re-introduced but is now based on algorithms in favor of the social circle of our parents. Unfortunate genetics can be fixed via CRISPR and if needed there is always surgery. The internet allows us to bypass human scale and moral boundaries but we are still bound to fragile bones and organs encased in flesh and skin. We are self-aware meatbags that simultaneously fear and long for technical singularity. Meg paints the way the liquid meets the rigid. She paints fluids that bypass the grid and draws lines that flow from digital to gestural. In heavily stylized pieces she tackles our limits of control.