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AES+F’s unique aesthetic is famous for its hypnotic appeal, classical beauty, multilayered narrative, and alienation. With their latest project, Reincarnation, created in collaboration with Wallpaper* magazine, the Russian artist collective completes their trilogy about the modern world: heaven, purgatory and hell.
The work is based on Giovanni Bellini’s allegoria Sacra depicting purgatory: unchristened children, figures of the Old and New Testament and ancient mythology meet in a modern international airport where grounded passengers are suspended between time and place. AES+F reinterpret the painting by transporting the characters into a hyper real future where they combat with recognizable themes of the modern world.
Reincarnation is an extract from the complete film, allegoria Sacra. The work’s overarching themes include obsession with beauty, youth, luxury, and society’s avoidance of moral and ethic responsibility all unfolding in a stunning, yet grotesque dance to baroque choral music.
AES+F was formed in 1987 by conceptual architects Tatiana Arzamasova and Lev Evzovich, and graphic artist Evgeny Svyatsky. The trio has worked together on various sculptural, digital and installation-based projects, from digital collage to porcelain, fiberglass sculpture to public installation. In 1995, Moscow-born fashion photographer Vladimir Fridkes began collaborating with AES group, forming the ‘F’ in AES+F. The collective achieved worldwide recognition and acclaim in the Russian Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale with their provocative, otherworldly Last Riot, the first in a trio of large-scale, multi- channel video animations of striking originality that have come to define both their aesthetic and push the boundaries of video installation.
Their work develops at the intersection of photography, video, and digital technologies, although it is nurtured by a persistent interest in more traditional media – sculpture especially, but also painting, drawing, and architecture. Deploying a sophisticated, poetic dialogue among these media, and plumbing the depths of art historical and other cultural canons, AES+F’s grand visual narratives explore the values, vices, and conflicts of contemporary culture in the global sphere.
For more than a decade, works by AES+F have been showcased in signature festivals and biennial exhibitions of contemporary art around the world, including those of Adelaide, Gwangju, Havana, Istanbul, Kiev, Lille, Lyon, Melbourne, Sydney, Taipei, Tirana, and Toronto, in addition to Moscow and Venice. Their work has also been featured in influential events devoted to new media, such as ARS Electronica (Linz), Mediacity Seoul, and Video Zone (Tel Aviv), as well as photography, such as FotoFest (Houston), Les Rencontres d’Arles, and Moscow’s Photo Biennial.
By now the subject of almost 100 solo exhibitions at museums, exhibition spaces, and commercial galleries worldwide, AES+F works have been shown in such prestigious venues as the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, ZKM (Karlsruhe), Casino Luxembourg, Kiasma (Helsinki), the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Tate Britain (London), Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva, various uK venues), the Passage De Retz (Paris), the Vanhaerents Art Collection (Brussels), MACRO Future (Rome), the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid), and many others. Among the important European institutions collecting their works are the Moderna Museet, the Sammlung Goetz (Munich), the Neue Galerie Graz, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris). Their works are also found in the foremost collections of Russia, including the Moscow House of Photography, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), and The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg).
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