• Zlata Mechetina

'Uncanny Valley' by Eugene Bellini

The Internet opens up unlimited access to visual material, processing of which launches a chain of self-generating images and symbols, changing the subject-object perception towards abstract multiplicities. This stage of my works is a personal experiment, exploring and expressing ideas by the digital two-dimensional constructor. The ‘ideal’ concept, in this case, serves as a binder to familiar symbols. It becomes a metaphorical 'glue' passing through metamorphoses and forming a previously non-existent interpretation of an object or thought.

According to Deleuze, a body without organs:

Work No. 1-1 Skeleton assembled from human hands, black holes, and text. The notion of freedom is vital not only to Deleuze’s theory but also to the term 'absolute spirit' introduced by Hegel. 'Absolute spirit' is the form of being of an absolute idea, the solidity of which is self-conscious. An image of the last metamorphosis of a spirit before the Absolute. The final stage of transformation is a formative liminal part, a kind of black hole.

This work process is analogous to easel painting; the artist who works with oil, brush, and canvas employs materials more familiar to the viewer but follows the same methodology. In comparison, I work in cyberspace, replacing paints with images and scans of objects.

The 'prostheses' triptych reflects on the effect of the 'uncanny valley', which describes an adverse reaction towards objects that resemble human beings. The individual response towards something very similar to themselves, but with minor deviations, leads to disgust and fear associated with an unreliability on the unconscious level. Scientific progress has always been generating a dialogue with art; for example, contemporary artists often employ new media; glitch art is a good example. However, for me, the emotional spectrum of human interaction with new scientific developments is of greater interest, rather than methodologies of making.

In my triptych, instead of cyborgs, I have chosen a thing that comes up in everyday life prostheses, which form the basis for this work. There is also a 'friendly' image with positive connotations added, which in total gives a mixed response, a set of ambiguous feelings of disgust, fear, and curiosity. It explores the Deleuzian conception of freedom chaos. It comes together through animalistic irrationality against the grip of the master’s hand by focusing on rapid instinctive movements.

Work No. 1-3 A mechanical prosthetic arm with brass knuckles from a tooth plate, a diamond ring, and gallows at the end of the fingers. The hand of capitalism? Modern marriage is marriage with the state.

Work No. 2-3 Dentures, rope, and eye prostheses. Braces hanging from the rope bind the mouth and do not allow to utter a single word; there is only a muted lowing.

Work No. 3-3 Eye prosthesis, ropes of three types of thickness, and small monkeys tied around. Ubiquitous observation through the CCTV (as we used to joke about the 'Big Brother') and regulation of the norms of size and thickness of the genitals, decorated with natural desire?

Biblical narrative. 'The miracle of the five loaves'.

Work No. 1-1 Beard, bread, and fish. The miracle of five loaves and two fish is the formative structure of the work. The feeding of 5,000 people is recorded in several Gospels (Matthew 14: 13-21, Mark 6: 31-44, Luke 9: 10-17, and John 6: 5-15). 'Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus spoke a blessing and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces that were left over'.

Text by Eugene Bellini; translated by Zlata Mechetina

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