“The main thing that I’ve learned over the years is that MacGuffin is nothing,” Alfred Hitchcock told French director Francois Truffaut in a 1962 interview, referring to a widely-used plot device that creates and sustains suspense throughout a film. His best MacGuffin, according to Hitchcock, was “the emptiest, the most nonexistent, the most absurd.”
Adam Hayes has dedicated the last ten years to investigating the various strategies through which the legacy of power is embodied, exploring monuments, sculptures, and architecture. For this occasion, he draws his references from classical portraits, which represent individuals with grandeur and majesty, thus becoming engrained in the collective conscience as epic heroes and martyrs.
Taking its title from a Latin proverb that means twilight, or more precisely “the time when light is too poor to tell a dog from a wolf,” Inter Cane et Lupum comes at a turbulent time in which monuments are being damaged, destroyed, or at the very least, revised. Yet while concurring that these inherited memorials no longer reflect current social values or power relationships, Hayes’s drawings and text pieces invite us to take a step back and contemplate them as a trope: in their abstraction, their artifice, their dominance, their nothingness.
Adam Hayes (b. 1979, Kansas) is a New Jersey-based artist whose work has been featured in several exhibitions at various venues, including but not limited to Devening Projects + Editions, Chicago; Number 35 Gallery, New York; P·P·O·W Gallery, New York, and University of the Arts, Philadelphia.