Exhibition title: Witches Cradle
Artist: Mario Zoots
Exhibition dates: June 18 – July 30, 2010
Exhibition space: RMCAD’s Rude Gallery   

Witches Cradle was a collection of collages and video works by Denver artist, Mario Zoots.  A “witches cradle” refers to an altered state of consciousness.  During the witch persecutions in Europe witches were put in bags and stung up in trees.  This same group of people deemed “witches” eventually ended up experimenting with the sensory depravation techniques that were done to them once as a punishment.  Similar sensory depravation techniques are doe by shamans and dervishes.  

The collage based works in Zoot’s Witches Cradle use a combination of paper collage and digital manipulation. Each work carefully alters an existing image that could originally be found on the internet, in print publications or in a photograph. The combination of collage approaches and appropriation of images used for advertisements, news, and entertainment illuminates the overload of imagery and information found in contemporary consumerist society.  By making obviously crafted and often times absurd combinations of imagery, Mario challenges our perception of and relationship to everyday mundane imagery.  The two videos selected for this exhibition are displayed on antiquated computer monitors strewn across the floor.  This provoking exhibition alludes to sensory deprivation by bombarding the viewer with image and information overload.