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AES+F F (Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes) has been exploring the possibilities of combining modern technology, Hollywood cinema, fashion photography, advertising, mass media, popular culture and youth obsession with the classical aesthetic of old masters’ paintings since the forming of the group in 1987, visualising and presenting a world for the viewers that is rather familiar yet mysterious and alienated. Their digital collage of real life photographs and animated landscape/objects blurs and defies the line between reality and fantasy, history and time, constructing a futuristic mythological metaphor for the present through their glamorous, seductive yet alarming, artificially hyper-realistic imageries.

In ‘Last Riot 2’, AES+F’s latest project, Baroque style collides with modernity in an epic-like format; conformity and rebellion exist alongside within a moral and cultural paradox, rebellious youth rise to the so-called heroism in an animated world that devoid of judgement, ideology, history, ethics and time. Borrowing its title from a popular video game, AES+F drew inspirations from two surprising and radically different sources: George Lucas’s Star Wars and the ‘Sacred Allegory’ by Gian Lorenzo Bellini for the series ‘Action Half Life’. Selecting and shooting desert landscapes that are reminiscent to the aforementioned sci-fi films, each model/character is then photographed separately, in order to achieve the detached atmosphere of future reality, before various layers of these elements are put together masterfully by the group. These otherworldly digital imageries subtly portray the futuristic natural of our modern society, projecting a future that is all too close to the present.

AES was first formed in 1987, and in 1995 it became AES+F; the artists currently live and work in Moscow. The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg held the first ever mid-career retrospective for the group from May to July 2007. In recent years, they have also been exhibited extensively worldwide, including The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain, the 4th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm.

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