Venice Biennale – 55th (Italy) 2013
Venice Biennale – 55th International Art Exhibition (Italy) 2013
Project NEO: Omnia Vanitas
Aesthetic and beauty are two themes that have carried our conceptual discussion since the birth of time. They continue to weigh upon our contemporary consciousness…mutating from our contemporary perspective into how we “see” the future.
Our definitions of aesthetic and beauty can change according to where we live, how we live, what we’ve experienced and how we process this information within ourselves. It is in a sense what makes us who we are or what makes something beautiful. It is quite different from what makes another person or thing beautiful in another’s eyes. We all have our own language for the judgement of aesthetics. It is what makes us human.
Although human beings are basically all the same, we experience distinctly different social relations, we develop different desires, we have different preferences and tastes. These differences form the foundation of our definitions of aesthetic and beauty. They connect within us a deeper introspective of feelings through a constant barrage of emotion, this internal struggle between life and death ultimately leads to the birth and survival of our aesthetic consciousness. It is an intense game that satisfies but one purpose— our insatiable need and unstoppable fight for the survival of beauty.
Believed to be as old as the Stone Age, jewellery and specialty necklaces were used to distinguish tribes, people, different social levels and roles in ancient times.
Later, Egyptian jewellery from as far back as 5000 BC used materials like bones, stones and wood to serve religious and spiritual interests.
Eventually, precious metals and precious stones replaced these earlier materials. The Egyptians used a precious stone bracelet for ceremonies and special occasions. Jewellery has traditionally been passed from and through different cultures, different times and aesthetic evolutions. Interestingly, nowadays when taken in the plural, the term bracelets, is often used as slang for handcuffs.
Project NEO from the artists Vitaliy and Elena Vasilieva, encourages a strong reflection on the eternal game of survival. It conjures up a cacophony of conflict between mind, body and our definition of beauty. It also examines the inner human being of what we like and how we see it in our own existence.
Who are we? How can we survive? How can we keep the beauty that naturally surrounds us and imprisons us at the same time? At the moment we were born we acquire our beauty. Simultaneously, we start a conscious and unconscious fight to keep that same beauty eternally and irrevocably within our mind, bodies and souls.
Precious minerals, gems and stones... Are they stronger than us? Is our search of beauty and perfection inferior to that of the power of nature? Or, are we taking the wrong direction in the search of eternal beauty and life? Will death ultimately free us from the chains of vanity?
Embraced by these unanswered questions we follow life in its constant aesthetic search to avoid death, to achieve evolution— eternal beauty equals eternal life.