25.06.2021 - 28.08.2021
The series of collages by Anna Titova, City Reclaimed By Multitude, is a reflection on connections between various forms of time—the historical, the everyday, the utopian. Collage is a perfect fit to the artist’s objective: to convey the feeling of a historical moment where penetration of the future into the present declares itself through unexpected juxtapositions and connections between things, quantum entanglement of identities, situations and spaces. Our present is permeated with traces and fragments of the future and the past, layers and collisions of fragmented stories, versions, narratives, rhythms and patterns, traditions and algorithms. This in-and-out presence of other times—as the possible or the virtual, as expectations or experiences—is where the collage-like nature of digital (hyper)modernity manifests itself.
Every moment in history is fraught with unpredictability; any situation holds potential to unfold into the unprecedented. What if today we are on the doorstep of the new “Roaring Twenties”? What if, having defeated the pandemic, people will get tired of keeping away from each other, and begin to get together, to enjoy life, socialize and build new types of communities? What if the public spaces, devastated in an era of isolation and digital control, will once again become meeting places, arenas of openness to the new forms of what the Situationists called “experimental behavior”? Should this potential future come, the new present will, too, contain fragments of our current today; in other roles and in other planes, however, like older buildings remaining among new development, where unknown hopes and expectations, memories and concerns dwell.
One of the forces, which binds the moments of the present into history, is the desire for another world, a utopian drive that usually manifests unexpectedly, hiding in the folds of the everyday, to then suddenly flare up in a pivotal point of historical time before dissipating in the endless game of reflections and simulations. Incompatible with any tidily wholistic representation yet inexorable, this desire is the force that stitches together with invisible thread the patchwork of both the pictorial plane in a collage and thousands of bits and pieces of the everyday experience in a world of network-mediated communication. It is the collage-like essence of this force—coming through in the differences between the real, the imaginary, the conventional—that will probably make it the source of post-individualistic cloud-and-network forms of identity and self-exploration.
Text by Stanislav Shuripa