A masterful new video trilogy from AES+F remixes classical myth and modern life

26 April 2013

An exhibition that examines the plight of contemporary life by celebrated Moscow art collective, AES+F, opens in the capital today. Liminal Space Trilogy at the Triumph Gallery is a presentation of three video projects that in combination reflect on the modern condition and concepts such as good and evil and sin and innocence. The four members of the collective — Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes — spent a total of eight years working on the three video projects: Last Riot, Trimalchio’s Feast and Allegoria Sacra.

The Last Riot, a 3D animation that was first shown in the Russian pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale, looks at childhood and adolescence in modern society. The film’s post-apocalyptic vision, an aesthetic nod to the works of Caravaggio and Géricault, is a comment on the virtual worlds of the 21st century that dominate the lives of children and teenagers. Olga Sviblova, curator of the exhibition, said of the film: “Every civilisation creates its own childhood mythology, while at the same time children and adolescents serve as a magnifying mirror of that society.”

Last Riot from AES+F on Vimeo.

The second part of the trilogy, Trimalchio’s Feast, looks at the culture of consumerism before and after the 2008 financial crisis while Allegoria Sacra is a dialogue with a 16th-century painting of the same name by Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini.

Sviblova said: “The AES+F group has developed a new language in their works. Analysing the modern world, using its mythology and cutting-edge technologies, the artists exploit fashion photography, advertising media, popular mass and youth culture, elements of Hollywood cinema and the classical aesthetics of the Old Masters for the creation of their own visual language presenting the pressure points of today’s reality.”

The collective’s work will feature alongside the main pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, which opens to the public in June. The exhibition at Triumph Gallery will run until 12 May.