Contemporary Art Center M17 (Kiev, Ukraine) presents a project from Lina Condes entitled Extraterrestrial Odyssezy, also featuring two new sculptures by Daniel Lismore. The exhibition is curated by Paolo De Grandis, Tamara Li, and Magdalena Gabriel.
Lina Condes has pioneered the use of technology, architecture and biology in her art. Her research and practice has moved recently towards creating pieces in which technology and architecture are not just the medium; but are positioned centre stage as the art. The results are powerful works that evoke the sense of bringing the spectator close to the soul of their creator.
For Extraterrestrial Odyssey, Condes presents a major new work called ‘Sphinx’. It is an interactive ISculpture, the fusion of an active eye on a stylised body that observes its surroundings possibly benignly, possibly malevolently.
The placement of ‘Sphinx’, within the historic Palazzo Pisani a Santo Stefano, represents the continuous loop encircling science, art, architecture and technology. The ‘Sphinx’ reclines resplendent, relaxed. It looks out upon the world, radiating energy and light, symbolising an omnipresent creator.
Its vocal reactions are basic, sometimes base, and their meanings are intentionally indistinct. Are they a delighted reaction to what it sees, or a dismissive reaction to the absurdity and futility of our supposed progress? The eye communicates to each of us individually, our reaction to it is not prescribed. Our understanding and emotive responses to its endless gaze is entirely our own. It was created and now rests, looking out on the bustle surrounding it. It does not judge, we judge ourselves under its stare. It perceives, and simultaneously through its own observations, generates self-perception.
Condes has created a site-responsive live performance – an optimistic walking parade by singers specially selected for this exhibition, guided by Daniel Lismore. It aims to raise questions of who are we as human beings and what our role is on this planet, also acting as a call for collective action to make the world a better place. It inspires us to look inward; how can we capable of such beautiful dreams but still generate such horrible nightmares? This celestial temple, under the eye’s unremitting stare, resets visitor awareness, encouraging us to denounce the ego and embrace enlightenment through love and peace. Only through such introspection can we counteract the alarming recklessness and destruction of our environment, for which we are all responsible.
Complementing the works, within the otherworldly arena created by Condes, the scene is confronted by alien gatekeepers – a new set of works by Lismore. Known for living life as a work of art, using his own body as a canvas and wearing elaborate ensembles, Lismore has created life-sized sculptures. They are inspired by Condes’s concepts. Lismore uses new 3-D scanning technology to create renditions of himself from the future, or perhaps from another world. His gatekeepers usher the viewer into a chamber of self-examination, to speak of a future unknown, but one that exists. These future heirlooms give hope to a generation in this time of uncertainty, that a new day will dawn. They act as beacons of hope.
About the Artists
Lina Condes was born in Cherkassy, Ukraine in 1988. She received her BA and her Masters in Design (Honors) from the Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design. A former contestant for the Miss Ukraine beauty pageant, Condes has chosen to divert her attention and talents toward contemporary art and design with group projects during Ukrainian Art Week (Kiev), the MAGMART Film Festival (Naples), the Berlin Fashion Film Festival and OPEN, International Exhibition of Sculptures and Installations. Solo presentations of her work have been held at the M17 Contemporary Art Centre (Kiev), SV Gallery (Beirut), and Avant Gallery (Miami) for the 2016 edition of the SCOPE Art Fair. She lives and works in Miami and Kiev.
Daniel Lismore studied photography before becoming a model and has been shot by some of the world’s most famous photographers including Mario Testino, David LaChapelle and Ellen von Unwerth. He is known for living his life as art; wearing elaborate and extravagant ensembles that brilliantly combine haute couture with his own creations. Lismore was named by Vogue as “England’s most eccentric dresser.” His first book Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken (published by Rizzoli) shares 32 three-dimensional sculptures from his first US museum exhibition, co-curated by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). These sculptures were also featured in his second US exhibition Theater of Self during Art Basel Miami Beach. In 2016, he became an ambassador for ‘Circuit programme’ with the Tate Gallery, who hosted his first two exhibitions with his self portraits in the Tanks at Tate Modern 2012 and at Tate Britain in 2013.