Elena Moon, Interview: "We are living under dictatorship of the informational technologies"
Elena Moon – one of the 12 curators who will participate this year in the renowned "Virtual Biennale" – presents her first exhibition, title "Back to Basics", which promises to pull people from their virtual lives down to earth, where they can live in the real world for a little while.
Much has been said about technology, especially about the advantages and benefits that it brings to our lives. But nowadays discussions are focusing on the influence of technology. Elena thinks it is very important to limit the use of technology because it is moving us away from our reality. So, it's time to live on the earth with our feet on the ground.
"In the world of information overload we often forget who we are, where we go, our values and our goal of existence", says the young Russian curator of contemporary art.
Curated by Elena Moon, "Back to Basics" brings together five contemporary artists - Natalia Dove, Daria Kuhn, Julia Storm, Ivan Electric, LLM – exploring almost every aspect of life and technology.
Alexis Mejia: What led you to take technology as the main idea of your exhibition? Were there experiences in your personal life that may have affected your choice?
Elena Moon: First of all, I can't say that technology is the main subject of this project. However, technology is a real power, which is able to modify our perception of reality. Social nets, platforms, different media create a sensation that we live in another reality, which is very similar to physical circumstances but still it is only virtual world. This misconception leads to rejection of physical reality, we often exist in some virtual conditions ignoring the ideas of initial creation. I can't tell about my special experience connecting to this, however, in my daily life I started to notice that my best friends became a notebook and a mobile phone. This made me think that it is necessary to find some strategies to avoid complete immersion in delusive space. That's why I decided to dedicate my exhibition to this issue.
AM: What is the aim of this exhibition?
EM: The aim of this exhibition is a reflection of the current situation in contemporary society. The phenomena of the hyper reality, which described Jean Baudrillard in "Simulacra and Simulation", became a usual condition of nowadays. Simultaneous existence fully replace now the initial physical reality and this leads to deprivation of core values. The main goal of this exposition is showing important aspects of life, primary values, which are so familiar to everybody, however, they are often ignored or forgotten in the fuss of daily life and simultaneous existence. I hope that this exhibition will inspire those who visit it.
AM: How did you choose the artists and their works? Did you consider their relationship with technology in making your selections?
EM: All artists, which took part in this project were interested in the theme of delusive values. That was the main reason to invite them and ask to create or bring the artwork, which depicts their own attitude to modernity and its specificity. Technology is a very strong power that is able to modify our life presentation. Of course artists, which were invited to this project, are familiar with effects of the hyperreality and they definitely use social nets, various media and so on... So they are normal modern people, which don't avoid the fruits of technological progress, however, they came to the idea of the necessity of the opposition to total dissolution in the virtual world. For instance, Julia Storm proposes to rethink the process of filtration of the information, which we constantly consume.
AM: In your exhibit, there are several works by various artists. Though each has a unique style, their work must have had common elements that led you to select them to illustrate your concept. Can you describe their commonality? Put another way, how would you describe the relationship of one artist to another, of one work to another?
EM: All pieces of art have the same target, to remind a beholder of some significant strategies that could promote to exist in Today's world in a more deliberate way.
AM: Knowing the relationship that Russian society has with contemporary art, what do you expect visitors to feel? Do you think your exhibition is going to be different and impress them?
EM: The aim of this project is not to shock an accustomed to the specificity of contemporary art visitor but to start a quiet dialogue about things that everybody is concerned. I strongly believe that a Russian viewer would be pleased to have such form of the art investigation. I can't predict the reaction of every beholder, however, I hope that each person will pick up some idea while exploring this exposition. It could be the best evidence for me that our efforts were fruitful.
AM: Using your words, do you think this exhibition will bring people down to the earth and make them run away for a while from the virtual world? I mean, Do you really believe that your exhibition will change anyone's point of view about technology?
EM: As I already mentioned, this exhibition is dedicated to reflection of values, which we are forgetting because of the circumstances, which often get control over our perception of the physical reality. I don't have a target to change somebody's opinion regarding the phenomena of hyperreality, my aim is to organize a special art-meditation where a viewer can relax and think over issues of nowadays. Moreover, the art pieces at this exposition put more questions than answers. However, I am pretty sure that the process of thinking is already a great result. This is what I would like to see.