Robot Ninja | Jonathan Monaghan
3rd May – 7th June 2013
Using the same technology employed by Hollywood and video games American artist Jonathan Monaghan debuts a new video installation for Market Gallery entitled Robot Ninja. Drawing as much on the past and mythology, as on science fiction and contemporary culture, Monaghan envisions a monstrous robotic harbinger. It is unclear whether the Robot Ninja brings doom or salvation, but there is a nightmarish edge in which we remain trapped in an endless loop of seductive but ultimately vacuous simulation where meanings don’t quite materialize.
“The Robot Ninja is my version of a final boss in a video game; the ultimate last bad guy a hero must defeat in order to complete his or her journey. Employing male-centric stereotypes found in video games combined with symbols of institutional power and wealth, Robot Ninja is a cultural conflation of war, authority and the super-human. But like final bosses, Robot Ninja reminds us that all great powers can fall.”
In Gallery One, Monaghan will present “Wireframes”, 30 black and white prints depicting single frames from the high-end computer graphics software used to create Robot Ninja. Monaghan uses the same software and techniques employed for special effects in Hollywood movies, or Pixar films. In rendering the animations, models are built from simple geometry and exist in a pre-rendered state throughout the creation of the animation. The animations resemble these prints for nearly the entire production as it is not until the end, does Monaghan see what we see as the final video.
Excerpt from Robot Ninja, Jonathan Monaghan at Market Gallery from Jonathan Monaghan on Vimeo.