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The room of desires


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The images used in the commissioned installation by Lyudmila Kalinichenko were taken from the “maps of desires” spread on the Internet by people from all over the world. Through this projection of personal dreams, wishes, and aspirations, the sacred is embedded into technology, as real-world superstitions and desires are transferred into digital space. The installation employs the pictures as an accumulation of a “collective consciousness”; this ritual of materialization, where people collect images of what they want, is transformed into a space of universal desires.

Elysium is the archetypal image of an ideal, beautiful place. The image of the garden with wonderful plants and animals, where the sun always shines and pain or sadness do not exist, roams between the cultures and religions, it emerges in the various geographical points and historical eras. The constant longing of the man for his natural harmonious state leads to a constant attempt to recreate it. But is this classic idea of paradise relevant today? And if Paradise, Edem, Elysium are the
quintessence of the beautiful, the place, where people want to live forever, how does it appear in the 21st Century? Temple mural that convey the ideal was replaced by the glossy picture from the magazine or advertising catalog, which remains as unattainable as heavens for the majority. Elysium by Ludmila Kalinichenko was assembled from the kitsch items, from the things that any mass consumer buys to decorate his garden or hacienda turning it into his personal paradise. Plastic palms, ceramic deer, inflatable dolphins live in a handmade pleasure garden, making it twice more artificial. What should be the source of life turns out to be a product of mass production, a real turns out to be a replication.

The artist offers us to be the first humans in this new Edem, she immerses us into the difficult problem field. Is there anything beautiful regardless the time, fashion, taste? In the 21st Century “paradise” what place is given to a technology? In our world, where the physical reality is so tightly bound with the digital one, does the good old analog paradise still possible or soon we will all be sent to the “cloud” instead of the clouds?

(Lev Shusharichev, the curator )

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