Alexander Lobodanov

Updated: Jan 23, 2019

Doctor of Philology

professor

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Lomonosov Moscow State University

member of the Bologna Academy of Sciences


The practice of postmodernism contributed in many ways to blurring the line between art and science. The artist, traditionally focused on emotions and intuition, was forced to acquire a naturalist’s vision. In the ‘Truth About Lies’ project, every utterance presented as allegorical images is not just a eflection of the creative whim of the author, but a clearly constructed concept filled with philosophical content, a detailed description of the backstory of what is happening. Showing her attitude to contemporary problems, Eva operates the intellectual toolkit of postmodernism, hypertrophying each postulate to the scale of an overarching idea. Actually, she does not hide her affection for artistic maximalism, for transgression. Its purpose is to decorticate the surrounding reality, remove the bark of censorship of human mind, and thus to clear the way to mystery. The everyday hyperreality where boundaries between the real and the imaginary have disappeared places one trap after another in the path of an artist. Generally, these appear as innumerable, self-reproducing temptations — simulacra flickering in endless mirrors and labyrinths and meant to lead away from the truth as far as possible. Still, Eva feels confident in the world created by her imagination. Her freedom allows her to focus on the tiniest metaphors, making every nuance work for the general concept.


It is symbolic that the narrative of unity and opposition of truth and lies begins with the Carroll’s rabbit carrying the viewer in an inverted reality, i.e. the surrounding reality where everything is perceived with a minus sign, as if all the traditional values were turned inside out. We cannot say the author’s here-there space is governed by solid lies. No, as a result of people’s internal compromises with themselves, the subjective and the objective have simply become so mixed and dissolved in each other that a new, multipolar hyperreality formed based on the absence of universal truth. The whole postmodern world has long been transformed into a Mirror-World with reality replaced by our own phantasms. This opens doors to unlimited interpretations. The artist is only left to explore the space that she inherited historically, congenitally. Here, every image is an allegory. A predatory, insatiate eye of a beast warns of the risk of becoming a victim of someone’s irrepressible desires and appetites, and us doomed to stay in the grip of our ungratified ambitions. An ordinary elevator with its opening and closing doors and confined space turns out an existential trap proving that we are all hostages of reality, victims of experiments on our consciousness. As interpreted by Eva, the mock war of Tom and Jerry symbolizes the replacement of real pain and suffering with a ‘merry’ substitute. In modern society, even scenes of violence are perceived as an entertaining cartoon. The drama of being is served in a sophisticated form as something benign, with no tragic toll. In an artificial, anti-natural habitat, people excite themselves with rollercoaster rides. Perhaps, thus they dream to create the illusion of overcoming many prohibitions. Their dream is to go beyond hyperreality, to touch the otherness. But what if the desired other will turn out to be but a figment?


Even the theme of earth and sun as saving landmarks present in the project as separate statements does not mitigate the general eschatological pathos. The earth is old and weary of what is happening on it: simply listen to its feverish pant. And the sun’s dull light is more as if a light bulb were ready to burn out; it differs little from the alternative, artificial Baudrillard’s sun.


Eva’s project reveals a disease of the modern Mirror-World where outer vanity and the variety of visual stimuli mean nothing. Everything is fluctuating, shaky and illusory. The visible world is devoid of existential content. No one thing in it is what it claims to be, so the existence of anything at all is in doubt. In one of the episodes, Eva conveniently uses an image of melting plastic, a versatile material for building hyper-reality where any momentary truth can easily transform into its opposite. Thus, the author visually updates the Lacan’s idea of the ‘unholy trinity’ of human nature: the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real, which in deed and not in name are nothing but Deception, Impossibility and Absence.


ALEXANDER LOBODANOV

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