Carl Dobsky, War of the Worlds (The Scholar’s Dream), 2021

The scholar dozes in the hammock, a copy of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds in hand. Wells was critical of the British invasion of Tasmania and wrote about what it would be like if the tables were turned: if Martians invaded England. The scholar here dreams of pop culture and how it has invaded and corrupted the scholarly, hence the broken statues and Greek column.

Dobsky notes that by scrolling through his phone, the scholar is complicit in this war. “Caught between the mocking laugh of Marilyn Monroe and the dead gaze of Michelangelo’s David, the scholar struggles with his admiration of the past works that have paved the way for his own efforts, his inability to attain those immortal heights, and the lustful impulse to create something new that always come with unintentional, and potentially destructive, consequences.”

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