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Gospel According to Prometheus

March 14, 2014

My latest art project took over a year to assemble itself. Throughout 2013 I have been obsessively picking up discarded lighters with no idea why or what for. When they got together, they revealed their intention. It became a “Gospel According to Prometheus” installation at the Tipography Loft in Krasnodar/Russia as part of the exhibition “Bastards: Blood Is Not Water” curated by the fabulous Leyly Aslanova. My artist statement is below the images.

krasnodar (9)

krasnodar (7)

Gospel According to Prometheus. The artist’s statement: A lighter is one the most ubiquitous products in the world. Every year millions are sold in every city. For all its usefulness, low cost and easy availability make them a throwaway bargain. Art lights up hearts & minds! Watch out for the burnout! And similar clichés may allude to Prometheus, a mythical hero who sacrificed body and spirit for the gift of fire to people … Lighters came to me out of the snow banks and puddles, from underneath the bus tires and park benches. Sometimes alone, sometimes several through the course of a day or a night. Some were wholly functional, but due to circumstances unknown found themselves discarded. Some were full of fuel, but lost their sparking mechanism. In others, the mechanism was intact, but the fuel had leaked or been exhausted. Some suffered a fate that rendered them almost unrecognizable. Gathered together… as the terracotta warriors of Emperor Qin Shi Huang… they bear witness to all that has come before them and stand vigil for all that may come to pass as if the word potential may never be used in the past tense. In the beginning there was the spark…”

Евангелие от Прометея: «Зажигалка – один самых массовых товаров в мире. Ежегодно миллионы продаются в любом городе-миллионнике. При всей своей полезности, дешевизна и легкодоступность делает их бросовой вещью. Искусство способно зажигать сердца! «Сгорел человек», говорят о безвременно утративших внутренний свет. И прочие клише под стать легенде о герое, поплатившемся своим телом и духом за дар огня людям… Они приходили ко мне из сугробов и луж, из-под лавочек и колёс маршруток. Иногда по одиночке, иногда несколько за день или ночь. Некоторые вполне функциональны, но в силу обстоятельств оказались не востребованы. Иные полны топлива, но утратили рабочий механизм. В других механизм в сохранности, но топливо иссякло. Кого-то постигла такая некая участь, что их практически не узнать. Собравшись воедино, они … как терракотовые воины императора Цинь Ши Хуан Ди … они молчаливо свидетельствуют о всём былом для всех будущих, будто слово потенциал не применимо в выражениях в прошедшем времени. В начале была искра…»

Below is the glimpse into the installation process.

process (4)

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All images are courtesy of the artist, the gallery, Geometria.ru & Yuga.ru

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