The screens. On the margins. /// Kunstihoone, Tallinn #2021

commissioned for the exhibition 18.09–05.12.2021

A work by Chto Delat (realization Dmitry Vilensky with graphic assistance by Evgeny Antonov)
Medium: digital prints on artificial satin, hand drawing with acryl

We all live in a world of numbers, quantitative comparisons, timelines linking different times and events. Their festive visibility, the accessibility of the narrative are striving to achieve the effect of enlightenment and “illumination” (illuminatio – lat.) – we, kind of, continue to believe in the already materialized metaphysics of light and the cognitive power of reason.
Solar activity and volcanic activity, terrorist attacks and various disasters, climate warming and changes in the earth’s atmosphere over different periods of time – all this turns out to be in a complex and, not directly connected, with the themes of the growth of social inequality, neo-colonization, epidemics, hunger, development of cultural and identity confrontations, as well as with various situations of struggle for the transformation of the world.
We are aware of the conventionality (and sometimes contradiction) of large linear narratives, which often contradict each other in different ways. We can say that all these graphic charts serve for us as a new form of medieval chronicle and in our new work we reveal the speculative nature of the collection of these facts. We have supplemented these graphics with a side image in the style of medieval marginals (or droleri from the French drôlerie – prank, eccentricity). Sometimes they appear as free copies of the original medieval marginals, and sometimes they turn out to be an absurd set of pictures that conditionally (and sometimes literally) correspond to the infographics of a large narrative.
These interventions remind us of the strange, possible distortions of the “divine (dis)order” and provide an opportunity to look at the world of numbers in the era of the Anthropocene and big data from an unexpected perspective, as the “angel of history” once did from Benjamin’s text, which is here inevitably appears in its already kitsch guise.

Here you can find a dossier of the project: