Chronos Eats Kids braids mythology, image and object to consider the inertia of cultural legacies and the power of personal mythologies. The exhibition centrally figures on the Titan Chronos, born of Ouranos (sky) and Gaia (earth). Chronos’ varied characterizations across classical Greek and Roman cultures position him as an apt symbol of the malleable fabric of mythos.
The sculptures and video on display in the gallery’s vestibule space, present collected objects from which narrative and myth may be conjured. The objects, both physical and virtual in form, queer utilitarian function such that they are freed to operate on a symbolic register, offering a site to play with the power of constructing speculative cultural and personal mythologies.
A series of watercolor paintings, hung in sequence around the four walls of the gallery’s main room, explore cosmological understandings of classical Greece. Hesiod’s Theogeny and later writings by Orphic poets are deeply invested in describing this type of overarching structure and sequence to give order to the world. However, with the import of these overarching notions onto latter cultures, a complex re-working of symbols occurs with shifts in ordering and changes in meaning. For Chronos, he went from signifying time in an abstract sense, to signifying a sequential movement of time, in his Roman incarnation as Kronos. This gives evidence for an understanding of culture as flexile — able to be dismantled, deconstructed, reversed, collapsed, overlapped, extended, and expanded. Through repetition and re-ordering of abstracted landscape imagery, elements of a cosmological structure, the paintings on view make visible the permeable conditions of order and meaning.
Mac Balentine (b. Atlanta, 1989) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Athens, GA. Rooted in material exploration, Balentine interrogates Western cultural histories and mythologies to encourage a slippery understanding of cultural and personal identities. Balentine received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012 and is a current candidate in the MFA studio art program at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. His work has been exhibited at Centre International d'Art Contemporain (Pont-Aven, France), American Swedish Institute (Minneapolis, MN), Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA)