BGC Museum Exhibit: Picturing the Parables

Exit Strategy (Rapture Engine) 1
Dan McGregor  Oil on panel with hardwood construction  2005

Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. (Matthew 24:40-44)

McGregor examines Jesus’ teaching on the end of the age in two works from his Exit Strategy series. As a woman prepares a meal and a man mows his lawn, we notice that something is askew: a bowl has fallen to the kitchen floor, spilling its contents; a rake seems to be standing on end, ready to drop to the ground. We understand that each composition is missing a figure.

These artworks have been constructed with turning handles and individual sections that seem to indicate a device or machine to aid in the “exit strategy.” The subtle insertion of the cruciform in the paintings implies the centrality of Christ’s sacrifice for everyday life and the end of time. The tree at the center of the yard is a more obvious reminder of the cross of Christ, but the sink, window, and cabinets in the kitchen also form a cross. In fact, the central position of the faucet in this scene alludes to Christ, the Living Water.