EAT A QUEER FETUS FOR JESUS, 1996, and the now-ubiquitous slogan SAVE THE PLANET KILL YOURSELF, 1998, are among the proclamations printed and handpainted on banners, protest signs, and other assorted merchandise dispersed throughout Le Confort Moderne’s main gallery. Relics of the Church of Euthanasia, the environmentalist, antinatalist organization founded in 1992 by Chris Korda, they form the crux of the exhibition “The (Wo)Man of the Future,” which was curated by Paris-based art space Goswell Road. The retrospective spans the trans activist’s thirty-year career in art, music, performance, and software design.
The cumulative effect of these pieces, teamed with archival photos and video footage of the church’s infiltration of public and media spaces through Happenings, billboard advertisements, and even an appearance on the Jerry Springer Show, is to sow doubt. Shock tactics aside, if the church’s mission to stem ecological disaster through the culling of humankind has often been dismissed as a dangerous cult or a vulgar practical joke, it may very well be because Korda, who shuns subtlety, excels at appropriating the very language and tools of political populism and evangelism that are prevalent across mass media and culture. Crowning this amalgamation of aggressive blasphemies is Brigitte, 1996, an inflatable sex doll crucified for committing the ultimate sin: procreation. The head of her “carnivorous baby” pokes out of her vagina.
An adjacent room contains a full discography along with more recent digital kinetic sculptures created using open-source software coded by the artist. These latter may lack the dark pointedness of the church or the contagious energy of Korda’s techno music, but they maintain a shared goal of dispelling the ingrained fallacy of human-centrism. At its most convincing, Korda’s work elicits a physical jolt and nervous laughter. So much the better to awaken critical faculties dulled by neoliberalism.