Once a revolutionary proposition that predicted humans' inevitable co-existence with intelligent machines is what the 21st-century people call "ordinary life". Our corporeal lives are intertwined with the digital sphere to the point we’re oblivious to the fact that much of our reality isn't real anymore. Logistically, mentally, as well as physically dependent on machines, computers, gadgets, and apps, our post-human existence is turning out to be post-ordinary. And the homonymous group show featuring Paraskevi Frasiola, Pavle Pavlović, and Einari Hyvönen, is exploring how our everyday reality deformed under the influence of ever-present technology. POST-ORDINARY is conceptualized by Saša Bogojev and presented at Plan X in Milan from the 24th of February until the 25th of March, 2023.
While solving life's problems with swipes and clicks our state of being transcends bodily sentience as we're becoming one with algorithms and patterns of information. At the same time, we're exposed to an abundance of new symbols, pictograms, aesthetics, visuals, and logic systems, which unnotedly condition and modify our traditional ways of communication. And this is where Pavle Pavlović (1983, Belgrade), sources inspiration and raw materials for his complex visual metaphors. Using the collage-like technique to digitally combine references to historically relevant classical artworks with the digital language of memes, gifs, stock photos, and screensaver aesthetics, the familiar visual vocabulary from our screens mutates into grotesque scenes that often humorously poke at the idea of human superiority. Purposely clashing the painterly tradition with kitsch carried and archetypes of popular (digital) culture, the Croatian artist constructs an idyllic meeting place of anachronistic worlds on the verge of the absurd.
This absurdity also permeates the work of Einari Hyvönen (1989, Salo), which is placed in a world built from foil balloon-like round shapes. Representing both natural creatures and vegetation, as well as the symbols of man-made objects and technology, the work focuses on the crisis of our existence in the post-human world. Resorting to digital aesthetics to create a more obvious alienation from naturalness, the Finnish artist is digitally building contradictory landscapes and scenes. The scenes are purposely "damaged" with the manual paint application and the use of acrylics, spray paint, and oil pastels on canvas, adding the flawed aspect to the artificial perfection of the digital reference sketch. And this urge to reclaim reality from the computers back into the analog sphere is at the core of the multidisciplinary work by Paraskevi Frasiola (1979, Litochoro). Working with symbols that originate from digital culture, especially emojis, 8-bit imagery, and memes, she's hoping to bring the inconsistencies and incongruities of one’s existence to consciousness through her drawings, paintings, sculpture, installations, and video work. Accentuating the clumsiness of such "language" of symbols by rendering them with pencil on paper through a slow, methodical, repetitive, meditative, and calming process, the Greek artist is describing the post-human state of mind in a self-deprecating and sarcastic manner and documenting the post-ordinary.
- Saša Bogojev