AES+F – Inverso Mundus | Mobius Gallery
Mobius Gallery presents Inverso Mundus by renowned artist collective AES+F (Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes), for the first time exhibited in Romania. The show, organized in collaboration with Triumph Gallery, Moscow, comprises drawings, a limited edition of stills and the video installation Inverso Mundus (3 channel, 38’20”), on view through November 4th, 2016 (2 Mendeleev D.I. Street, Bucharest). Mobius Gallery will publish a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, with an essay by curator David Elliott and an extensive interview with the artists.
One of the most acclaimed projects in the 56th Venice Biennale, Inverso Mundus reveals an absurd world based on exchange of power and roles that instead of distancing itself from reality reflects our own society, the contemporary crisis rooted in social, political and economic factors, today’s conflicts and inequalities, stereotypes and human behavior. Inspired by Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festival of Saturn in December, when the Roman social norms were overturned and masters served their slaves, AES+F’s video installation turns the rich into beggars, violence into pleasure in a scene of orgy between policemen and thieves imagined in a royal 18th century bed, pictures the battle between generations as a kickboxing match between young and old, while men become victims of beautiful women oppressors, caught in torture structures reminding of IKEA products. Some situations are depicted after the 16th century engravings of the World Upside Down – the pig slaughtering the butcher or the man carrying a donkey on his back, as well as the chimeras which constantly appear in different scenes in the video and are treated as pets by the human characters.
No words are spoken, leaving the image as sole discourse generator. Distinctive people of different ages and cultures take on the roles of homeless, of inquisitors or lovers. Clothing is important in amplifying the symbols and highlighting certain contrasts – for instance, women wearing elegant dresses torture half naked men who accept the treatment without any trace and even intent of opposing it, uniforms usually linked to discipline, authority or affiliation to a specific category, are now only accessories to defy an imposed order which no longer applies.
The body language with slow moves, calculated and almost artificial yet bringing a significant contribution to the overall aesthetics of the work, also influenced by the background of the artists in conceptual architecture and fashion photography, makes the characters feel non-human, and the viewer to question the probability of this timeless reversed universe that tends to represent the deep inner desires of the many of play pretend and switch of status with those in power. Here, fulfilling these desires does not imply rebellion, but a non-violent exchange of roles, even torture seems peaceful to some extent, rather sexual than dangerous, pleasing than painful. However, violence is not fully absent, being the core element in the battle between generations, a game of winners and losers.
In every scenario, the visual feast is flavoured with irony, becoming a form of entertainment, also supported by insightful music insertions in a display of unexpected plots and surreal contexts.
The project Inverso Mundus was created in 2014-2015 with generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Faena Art.
Videos: AES+F & Mobius Gallery. Photos: The re:art.
The exhibition was visited during the 10th edition of the White Night of the Art Galleries – NAG#10.