Brendan George Ko We Soon Be Nigh!

LE Gallery ⁠ accessible_forward
1183 Dundas St W

In a time of cinematic Armageddon, endless documents of natural disasters and environmental shifts, and ancient wisdom foretelling the Apocalypse, belief is not a necessary vehicle into an impending sense of doom. The future has always been uncertain, but particular recent events—from rapidly rising sea levels to a continual “war on terror”—have shifted this feeling into the foreground. The notion of a precarious future seems omnipresent. It has moved beyond imagination and manifested itself in the photographic medium.

Brendan George Ko investigates recent history and popular culture to find icons that represent a pessimistic view toward the future. Ko represents these icons in his photographs of outsiders, catastrophes, and future landscapes, which are accompanied by anecdotal didactic panels. Also on view: a video piece that strings together clips from 12 Hollywood disaster movies into one seamless film, a video installation complete with special effects, and a sonic landscape that fills the gallery environment with foreshadowing overtones.

We Soon Be Nigh! attempts to capture the fleeting atmosphere that surrounds apocalyptic prophesies from both the past and the future. This atmosphere has existed in different forms and narratives throughout human history and most recently has left oral tradition in favour of the fixed image.

Brendan George Ko is a visual storyteller working in photography, video, installation, text, and sound. His work conveys a sense of experience through storytelling, and he describes the image as supplementary to the story it represents. In 2010, Ko received his BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design University, where he majored in photography, and he went on to the Master of Visual Studies programme at the University of Toronto, where his practice focused on video and sound.