The contemporary image resembles a liquid body in a state of flux, an unstable entity with no definitive dimension. It essentially embodies technological pro-gress, namely the various solutions that digital culture has defined since the distant 1980s, when electronics became a popular, ultipurpose tool. Hence this current image adapts to different iconographic con-texts, combines diverse languages and traverses definitions and dissonances, shifting the focus from onepoint Renaissance perspective to a multiperspectival view. Social media themselves follow the openended structure of an image that has become telescopic, radiant and fleeting, even when fixed on the surface of a painting. The contemporary icon seethes within, responds to external stimuli and captures sampling areas; it is contaminated by its very nature and contaminates what it meets, rather like eukaryotic cells of human and animal origin.
Eva’s vision is expressed through the liquid geography of a cellular image – germinative by induced nature – a kind of primary organism that constantly generates evolutions of the source code (the initial image). What happens in the work is what usually takes place in cellular structures: movements, consequences, fragmentations, breaks, ingestions and mutations, a lengthy series of iconographic events to indicate the reproductive nature of the individual image. The artist uses the source code to initiate a plastic digital process, a meticulous compositional arrangement, an infinite puzzle that always generates new pieces and expands perimeters. Vasilyeva has grasped the seminal value of the image and its tendency to be unstable and virulent, as well as the sense of a layered, hybrid aesthetic, so similar to what we observe in a laboratory microscope or astronomical telescope. Think about it, for some years now there has been a strange similarity between cellular chemistry, astronomy and the artistic image: three instances in which cyclical activity, dynamic sequences, chain reactions, system glitches etc. take place beneath the surface.
Eva uses technology with the methodical approach of an experimental painter. The initial image (source code) is worked with sartorial finesse, woven and regenerated by dissolves, saturations, enlargements, close-ups, abstractions… The result is an electric layer filled with dystopian glitches; a fractal microcosm that multiplies without repeating itself. Video and photography are correlated with the nature of the fractals by an identical genetic code, a Genome that manages similar forms within the mechanics of the neuronal labyrinth. In this labyrinth Eva’s oeuvre inevitably acts, between optical perception and conceptual interpretation, on the limbo that combines aesthetics and content. These two planes fluidly converge in the semantic codes of electronic weaving, recreating an independent context, a place that starts from the real to codify an Electronic Eden.
OBJECTIVE: PALERMO + LACOSTE
This project was born from three volumes published last year: one devoted to Photography, another to Video and a third to Sculpture. Three books for as
many languages, which are interwoven yet remain independent; three autonomous platforms that enable the three media to interact yet maintain an appropriate distance. There emerge similarities between the frames (video), the digital modifications of the frames (photograph), and the opposing thrust towards raw material (sculpture). These links explain the telescopic nature of the image today, its capacity to have various focal points, open perimeters and infinite horizons. It was right to divide the languages then reunite them, in order to enhance the fluid orchestration of a visionary gaze. This was done by separating every single result, suspending it in paper white and fixing it in the graphic aquarium of the book – still the vehicle most conducive to the longevity of a work. Let us not forget that the fluid images of our time require painstaking care – not all of them, of course, only the best, the ones that the critical eye considers as perfectly achieving their aim. Cellulose assumes the role played by libraries in ancient times, that of a neutral space for certifying value, for memory in action, for philosophical stimulus. The need for a tangible artefact is confirmed by the Dada-driven sculptures with an anthropological slant: precariously balanced forms, found materials, surreal associations and inventions of all kinds, which add some vim and vigour to the digital works, almost marking the check-point of the physical world, an obligatory crossing into the raw feel of living things.
THE CHOICE OF WORKS
The curatorial handwriting must always adapt to an artist’s personality and language. Hence, it was necessary to make a harmonious but not didactic selection that possessed a thematic balance achieved through the appropriate sequential montage of photographs, videos and sculptures. I imagined the exhibition as a film sequence, an installation/journey that highlights the genealogy, consequences, alterations and specific characteristics of purely electronic hinking. This has created a suspended and metaphysical mood, a visual event that metabolizes pieces of the world and transforms them. I see in the works echoes of Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage’s experimental cinema, the Bragaglia brother’s Futurist tension, Chris Marker’s oneiric codes … These and others come to mind, all of whom share a pictorial idea of cinema, meticu-lously constructed frames, and a narrative that goes beyond outmoded naturalism and captures flows of cerebral verism. The works on display construct visionary actions that follow the rhythm of the mind: female bodies, landscapes, faces and abstract spaces are arranged in a sequence based on pathos, the senses, changing atmospheres, environmental ties, inspiration, emotional consequences and so forth.
The selection pivots on the constant use of an emotional black and white. The title – TO THE WONDER – inspired me to create a narrative epic for the project, which melds the different aspects – portrait, landscape, abstractions – in a harmonious visual with a riveting climax. Black and white, alibrated with myriad shades of grey, was perfect for endowing the sequence with a flowing pathos. Hence a title that encapsulates the wonder of the gaze, the depth of certain emotions, the power of a possible revelation. The image as alchemical magic, unstable organism and sheer beauty, receptive membrane that speaks of cosmic harmonies, empathy, universal vortices, unbridled ambitions, plausible utopias …
The two videos on show hinge on opposing yet complementary climaxes: on the one hand the female body, an erotic and beguiling presence that captures the ambient
energy; on the other, a centrifugal force that causes the forms to fluctuate in the monochrome space. Though seemingly antithetical, these two projects traverse the photographic works like a continuous thread, a narrative weave that opens up the scenic space to wonder and astonishment.
Although there are many artists I could mention in this context, I would like to focus on two directors, Godfrey Reggio and Terrence Malick, since they provide the best counterpoint to Eva’s project. In the work of all three I detect the desire to evoke humanity amidst the chaos of the universe, the life of individuals that interacts with the metabolic essence of Geology, Astronomy, Biology, Physics, Chemistry… an incredible dissonant harmony that brings together blood and lava, oxygen and wind, saliva and ocean, hands and meteorites… a secularly Christian vision, where Christianity embodies a value of social sharing, regardless of religious beliefs; an elevated gaze that sees the gift and generosity as collective energy. I see an artist who seeks the spiritual in things, within the sacredness through which actions become sublime. Her ascetic gaze is directed at the chaos of the Planet, a silent camera that sublimates noise, contrast and dissonances, from which the artist extracts a new iconic possibility and fleeting equilibriums. Wonderful.
Eva’s works speak of energy and regeneration, of the purest gazes and renewed hopes for the future. They are sensorial and sensitive geographies, dynamic magnets that revive the image and take up a timely aesthetic challenge. They ask the viewer to go one step further, to arrive at a new understanding of reality and inner worlds. They are an aesthetic vehicle for undertaking extraordinary journeys. They are keys that provide access to the Lost Paradise, to the ephemeral, to chimeras, to the Babel of desires, to the places of freedom and love. They are works that make thoughts levitate and rise above the curtain of the everyday, beyond the raw vision of the world. They shout Beauty by seeking a lost yet retrievable harmony.