York artist D.G Walczyk reveals an honest moment of introspection in "Wetiko":
Wetiko is in response to/inspired by the poem of the same name by local poet and spoken-word artist Dustin Nispel. The term wetiko is of Native American (Cree) origin and refers to psychic/spiritual vampirism and/or cannibalism. It is a psychosis; a disease of the spirit or soul. Sadly, our nation, through its leadership and legislation, has been promulgating the spread of this disease throughout its history. The disease manifests itself outwardly from within individuals to overtake entire families, communities, states, and nations. Wetiko, among its many manifestations is intolerance, hate, racism, injustice, greed, war, and indifference.
The only hope in fighting this disease lies within the individual’s ability and willingness to recognize and acknowledge his own evil, his own darkness, and how he projects that outwardly on to the rest of humanity. Until individuals can begin to recognize their own wetiko, there is no hope in moving past the divisiveness that characterizes virtually all current socio-political events.
In his article Let’s Spread the Word: Wetiko, Paul Levy states
“Because full-blown wetikos are soul murderers who continually recreate the on-going process of killing their own soul, they are reflexively compelled to do this to others; for what the soul does to itself, it can't help but to do to others. In a perverse inversion of the golden rule, instead of treating others how they would like to be treated, wetikos do unto others what was done unto them.”
To use an extreme, but prototypical example, it is like someone screaming that you're killing them as they kill you. If their insanity is reflected back to them, they think it is the mirror that is insane. Suffering from a form of psychic blindness that believes itself to be sightedness, full-blown wetikos project out their own unconscious blindness and imagine that others, instead of themselves, are the ones who are not seeing.
So the work--really a self-portrait-- is an acknowledgment of my own capacity for darkness, evil, negativity and soul-suicide in order to begin the healing process. We are, none of us, separate selves in the end. What we do unto others, we truly do unto ourselves. Let us hope that the activists for equality and justice among us are on the rise and can stay the course in the fight for peace and “liberty and justice for all."