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VIRALFlowers, Cork Street, 21 Cork Street London W1S 3LZ, 16 September - 31 October 2020,;  

Cork Street Installation

This exhibition comprises much of the work that was included in FLAT EARTH, which was scuppered by the Corona Virus and closed before it had really opened. The collection of paintings in this exhibition have been created over the last two years amid seismic shifts in the domestic and global political landscape. From conspiracy theories to data mining, subjects span the evolving and influential world of information technology and the resulting network of alternative facts, misinformation and cyber warfare.


Blue Planet/ Moon Landing / Flat Earth #8

Blue Planet is the title of one of David Attenborough’s nature documentary series, about the planet’s oceans. There are a number of different things going on in this painting. The blue in this case is the glow of screens, repeating the same random image ad infinitum. Communities are connected across space, electronically. On the street, on buses, in public, more people are looking at a small screen than at the people and events in their own immediate physical space. It seems that if it wasn’t filmed it didn’t happen. Is what we are looking at a glimpse into an unseen world, such as that which Attenborough offered us? Are they rows of monitors, like mission control in Houston, 1969? Or is it a mirror of their own world view? Did the moon landing ever really happen, or was it all an elaborate hoax? Is the ghostly blue light the flickering of gaslight, which makes us question our own sense of reason?

Flat Earth

The Earth is round. The Earth is flat. This Earth is round, but also flat - this is a painting. Magritte was right. It wasn’t a pipe. It was a representation of a pipe, a flat pipe. The Treachery of Images. Of course the Earth is flat. It appears flat, even if you go up in an aeroplane. No matter how much ‘evidence’ you produce to the contrary. Appearance surely must count as fact. But there are no such things as facts, only opinions. Truth is a matter of opinion. And that’s a fact. The Earth is warming. The ice caps are melting. The sea is rising. No it isn’t, or if it is, it’s nothing to do with us. I’ve read it on the internet.


The identities of the alleged poisoners of the Skripals and Dawn Sturgess in Salisbury in 2018, revealed by investigative journalists Bellingcat becomes an information war of fact and anti-fact, narrative and counter narrative. Negative and positive. A clash of empiricism and denial according to political preference and nationalist allegiance. Another metaphor for seeing only what conveniently fits a world view, ignoring that which is inconvenient. Some of this was filmed, the rest has to be filled in with forensic and detailed detective work. But who is watching the detectives? White Helmets, False Flags. The first casualty of war is the truth.

Black Board/ Theory of Anything

Politics as science, or selective history? Answering a question which wasn’t the one you were actually asked. Where are we now, and how did we get here? A flow chart, a diagram. Joining the dots. Cause and effect. Unintended consequences. Secret conspiracies. It’s the economy, stupid - the stupid economy. A view from now, looking back to the past to try and see where we are and how we got here. It’s for the superforecasters to sell us their idea of where we are going. I can only see where I think we’ve been. We think we might know where we’ve been, and there are some who would like to convince us they know where we are going. We’ve had enough of experts. We need misfits and weirdos.


Somewhere between democracy and despotism. The will of the people, or the tyranny of the majority. The democratisation of information, electronically concentrated in the hands of the billionaires, oligarchs and kleptocrats. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Where now, honesty, courtesy, decency, integrity, shame, compassion, kindness? Instead the algorithmic amplification of extreme messaging, employing the use of dog whistles. God is on our side. Their god is a bloodthirsty suicide bomber (but I didn’t say that).

European Canon

Culture war. A Napoleonic cannon captured in the battle of Waterloo, now residing at the Tower of London, and Beethoven’s piano, a gift to the composer from English piano maker Thomas Broadwood. Both objects carry an emotional charge, bathed as they are in the bluish reflected light of a passport made in Poland. The cannon invokes a history of war in Europe and an insular spirit of British defiance. The piano belonged to a bad tempered humanitarian artist who left an unparalleled canon of groundbreaking music and penned Ode to Joy, from the ninth symphony, a musical masterpiece calling for universal brotherhood and adopted by the European Union for its anthem. RIP.

John Keane in conversation with Philip Dodd,_(diptych,)_oil_on_line,_155x195cm_(x2)_copy.jpg

European Canon (diptych). Oil/Linen, 155x190cm(x2),_linen,_190x170cm_copy.jpg

Flat Earth Series (2), oil and reactive metallic paint / linen, 190x170cm

Black Board/Theory of Anything 2020. Wax crayon/Acrylic/Linen, 200x200

Despocracy I, Oil/Linen, 150x150cm

Despocracy II, Oil/Linen, 150x150cm

Despocracy III, Oil/Linen, 150x150cm

Despocracy IV, Oil/Linen, 150x150cm

Blue Planet/Moon Landing/Flat Earth Series #8, Oil/Linen 200x200cm

Who Shot the Plane Down/Flat Earth Series (#6), 2019 Reactive metallic paint, metal, wood, gold and diamonds on linen 65 x 96 cm

Who Shot the Plane Down/Flat Earth Series (#6), 2019 Reactive metallic paint, metal, wood, gold and diamonds on linen 65 x 96 cm,_reactive_metallic_paint,_inkjet_transfer,_linen,_70x75cm_copy.jpg

Novichok 3, reactive metallic paint, inkjet transfer, linen, 70x75cm.jpg,_Viral,_2020_(Window).jpg