”We perceive contemporary reality as a moveable, flexible space in which the past, present and future simultaneously exist and mix. We are interested in a process, which excites us with its unpredictability, in which a person simultaneously takes the role of the creator and the laboratory mouse. Creativity becomes a game in which each next step brings us closer to the limits of conventional everyday life.
Imagine that our life is a skyscraper, in which different paths lead to the last floor. Your route can be tortuous, you have been climbing upstairs during whole life, or get stuck on one of the floors, and then one day go up on a high-speed elevator and eventually find out what’s behind that small door with the inscription “Exit” which is leading to the roof. We want to be a person who has a bunch of keys from emergency doors on the balconies, during the way to the rooftop comes out into the balconies and invites other people to join him and see what’s going on outside the concrete walls and dusty windows.
Being an artist means for us to create own reality and materialize thoughts, accidentally guessing the images and themes hat thrill not only you, but also other ones, accidentally giving to other people a cause for reflection and from time to time inspiring others”
Text: Anton Svyatsky
For this solo presentation, the duo created a new series of paintings and mixed-media works as a contemplation of our state of existence within a new system that, despite being of our own creation, we cannot comprehend. This body of work reflects on the use of technology in the proliferation of old myths and superstitions, slowly encroaching on the place of the occult in our collective imaginary – with the witch as a feminist icon and the tech guru as the shaman who leads us into a hypnagogia
The “dark wood” has been used for centuries to represent a place of mystery and danger. In old German fairy tales the forest is where the monsters dwell. In some epic poems, the forest is an unintelligible will that acts in the interest of no party, seemingly contradicting the desires of those who wander in or take it for granted. While yet in other literary works, the forest is a stand-in for the sphinx, offering a hero their chance at glory should they prove worthy. Like in Waiting for Godot, in interacting with virtuality we replay the same simulation, without recollection, harboring inextinguishable hope for salvation. Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon cannot affect anything, they can’t even die. There is nothing to be done but to observe the transformation and attempt to comprehend it.
Sculptures and busts resembling a grotesque synthesis of the natural and the artificial. They seem at once ancient and unfamiliar. Perhaps they are the true faces of the new gods. The hominid vessel has its arm over its visage, dimming the light that would blind it; its torso is filled with branches, its head split to make way for the crown of a tree. Though regal, it seems to weep, mourning its fate.
Humanity has invented the virtual as a form of escape, but also of selfjustification. Mythos is not only knowledge, but also purpose.
Mythos is not only knowledge, but also purpose. As the real and the virtual disintegrate into one another, the human becomes the raw material. Cyberspace, like the forest, is a consciousness with agency that incessantly asserts itself by consuming our thoughts and desires. The will of Oberon is acted out by the cyberacolytes in the guise of corporate CEOs with virtual-only interfaces, who have transfixed us with their digital enchantments. Our collective humanity is confined within our perpetually contracting attention spans while technological progress accelerates the metamorphoses.
You know you are alive because you see and hear, even though your senses are stimulated into a stupor. The selfie-taking sphinx might offer salvation, if you can get its attention.
WORKS FROM OTHER SERIES
“Some things are whole only when they shatter”.
Crocodile Power (Peter Goloschapov [b.1982] and Oxana Simatova [b.1979]) is a duo of Moscow-based artists working primarily with painting and sculpture using a variety of mixed-media techniques. Addressing the ramifications of technological progress, the artists highlight the physical and psychological transformations that we are undergoing as a result of our interactions with virtuality. Their practice is rooted in an examination of the impalpable sense of uncertainty and loss of self, a reckoning with the erosion of purpose that defines the contemporary human condition in the age of virtuality.