Artists: Argišt Alaverdyan, Jozef Mrva
Venue: stone projects, Prague
Text: Peter Sit
Title: Spambot Fiction
Spambot Fiction is the second co-exhibition of Argišt Alaverdyan and Jozef Mrva. The materially different approaches connect common themes, which the authors approach differently.
Alaverdyan’s paintings, whose figures emerge from the unconscious in a collage of the reality of life and the problems of the contemporary world, work great together with Mrva’s works, which are more analytical and critically examine our reality with the intertwining of the online world and the issue of digital technologies. This entanglement is found in Mrva’s work in the form of knots, where he was inspired by Knot Theory, which is a field of topology that focuses on mathematical knots that cannot be untied without being broken. For Mrva, the knot is a metaphor for repetition, a theoretical concept for describing the cyclical setting of the flows of the modern-day capitalist society and culture. Like the philosopher Benjamin Bratton, he understands that cloud platforms, the Internet of Things, mobile applications, energy networks, privatization of public services, and many other phenomena should not be understood in isolation, but as a new, unpredictable planetary megastructure – the Stack. It becomes another dimension of the space we inhabit with multiple impacts on our lives. Bratton deals mainly with the geopolitical dimension, for example how these structures shape new architectures of governments, platforms becoming a kind of para-state having power over the current ones.
The formal side of Alaverdyan’s work is based on the tradition of abstract painting. Although in his process he allows shapes and compositions to bubble to the surface, which only begin to exist in the world when they are painted, in which we decode and search ex-post, and, the same as Mrva’s works, his paintings are analytical. His paintings reflect the influence of the Internet interface, computer games concerning our identity, or television series. Although his paintings are primarily abstract, these influences, characteristic of his generation that grew up with the birth of the Internet and the constant shaping of this environment, inevitably seep out of his paintings and take form in abstract shapes and surfaces, after all, we know these influences themselves intimately.
Peter Sit, 2023