EMPYREAN press release:

Narratives, loops, and crescendos play across the landscape of a strangely frozen now. With the assumed position of a complicit virtual navigator, Evans traverses scenes of familiar power struggles, guiding the viewer through conflated contemporary and historical events and environments. Evans constructs these closed and flattened environments from found online images.

Traces of their own absence, these images are, again, sliced in time from their context, their lives, and re-appropriated to reform a world - view. Unsure of where to integrate his position, Evans repeats the scenes; just as the animated image - objects continue their dance -- becoming machinic perceptions of a complicated sublimity.

Form: Altar Piece and Billboard and MSNBC.

In the middle of some war-torn country, Brangelina rides a camel through the eye of the camera, presenting gifts of the ob-scene, totem, and petrified to the "excluded." The event is staged for the opening of Empyrean. Empyrean is a wellness retreat built upon the happily resting bones of the dispossessed. Reanimated, in stereotype, these refugees play the oppositional objects of progress. Like spectral remainders, they mark the victor with a sense of guilt. However, the victor has recourse in the edifying expanse of the market: where recruits and contractors; bubbas and aliens; and politicians and intellectuals are employed to build this heaven. Beatrice looks like a Benjamin.

Water from the Second Rock, Minos, Aries, Christ, Baal. 


Cliff Evans treats images like found objects, mined from the vast reference library that is today’s Internet. His exhibition Empyrean is a digital polyptych with photomontage animation that recalls the form of 15th-century Northern European altar-pieces merged with contemporary advertising narratives.

Scene after scene of Evans’s five-channel projection has deliberate order and disquieting disorder, creating a loose but provocative narrative around the subjects of power and population control, coded with interesting and often humorous subtexts. Empyrean’s themes were developed through an absurd juxtaposition of both benign traditions and disturbing pathologies: wellness tourism, missionary practice, militaristic domination. Evans’s extensive investigation into his subjects is enhanced by a trained eye and impressive skill using image detail and color. The large swath of information and carefully calibrated soundtrack was presented in a loop shown at a slow and melodious pace. With each repeated viewing, viewers became more intrigued, less complacent, finding new associations and symbols, and questioning the final meaning of the narrative. The continuous loop is a fitting symbol of the circuitous navigation of the psyche that is at the heart of the Empyrean.
— Pieranna Cavalchini