PHANTASMA*
Themes:
Astrology
Cosmology
Space Travel
60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin
Animism
Gods & Goddesses
Aliens–Fantastical Beasts–Monsters
Futurology & Predictology
The Human Body Morphed
The Legacy of Soviet Hippy-era
New Worlds
Themes:
Astrology
Cosmology
Space Travel
60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin
Animism
Gods & Goddesses
Aliens–Fantastical Beasts–Monsters
Futurology & Predictology
The Human Body Morphed
The Legacy of Soviet Hippy-era
New Worlds
Centipede Ordinaria. Irina Drozd
The arts have a long history of reaching zenith at times of either peril, or, plenty. They are, as artists strive to depict the spirit of their times, at their most piqued-and-political, or, their most abundant-fecund-limpid. Significantly, the perilous and the plentiful are interconnected spatially (even if temporally distinct) by "the street, " and "the spectacle," symbolized by: a) the barricade; b) the promenade; and c) their corollaries in the arcade, the garden, and the stadium. Revolutionary action, bourgeois life, and proletarian leisure take place outdoors (or in those in-between spaces of the shopping center, sports hall, and stadium). Think on either the perilous Paris of 1848 that delivered the streetwise realism of Courbet and Manet, or, the flowering of the Third Republic evincing the elegant strollers of Pissarro and Seurat: the work of the four cited artists is connected by the site-and-subject of their work (even if their intentions are opposites).
Playground . Ivan Mikhailov
The current moment — as the 2020 "Corona-year" segues into 2021 — is certainly perilous. It stands alone, however, in terms of the long arc of art making described above as we have been driven off the street, out of the garden, and away from the arcade (GUM is in fact an exemplar) and the stadium not to mention from society —and forced in doors. Because of restrictions of movement, across towns and cities, artists have even been effectively evicted from their studios for enforced homestays. So "Home is where the Art Is" is an apropos bowdlerization of a popular greeting card, or, welcome mat aphorism. The living room, study, kitchen, and bedroom, with their reduced spatial means are the new site of artistic production. And broadcast and digital media [the] new referent and/or source of inspiration.
Untitled. Dasha Kudinova
As, for the most of us artists included, the peril of the Covid virus is abstract (as we cannot see it or touch it) and until the moment of infection it exists in the world beyond the walls of our homes it is near impossible to depict. Though its impacts, which have drastically altered the way in which many of us live, are imminent though inexplicable; and as such many artists have headed elsewhere for their inspiration towards a radical exteriority and/or radical interiority. Art has headed both for the far reaches of time-and-space in a past-meets-far-out-future continuum (the Greeks and Sumerians wrestle ET and Storm troopers!) and for the inner-spaces of the psyche, corpus, and id (the super-ego, meanwhile, is taking a long vacation).
Is it any wonder that the pictures being beamed-back-to-earth from NASA's Mars Rover became an instant Internet hit with an audience in the millions, or, that the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight (he orbited earth in 'Vostok I' on April 12, 1961) is gearing-up to be a major media event? Let's not forget the recent misfortune of the musician-deejay-producer Sophie who plunged to her death climbing the Acropolis in Athens in a pilgrimage to see the first new moon of 2021 (a very astral tragedy).
Walkers from a Galaxy Far Far Away.
Alexey Azarov
Untitled (Magic)
Alina Glazun
What I mean to say is that without the quotidian world outside to refer to there is an admix of art being made that touches upon ancient myth and legend, the spirals of the mind connecting 19th and 20th mysticism and psychology, the dazzle of 20th century pharmacology, all the glamour of space both real (Cosmonauts and Astronauts) and imagined (Sci-Fi and Star Wars), the human body as a site of reinvention, all nature of travel and travels that we can no longer embark upon, and numerous utopia (and their dystopic twins) that the Internet and its poly-tunnels can lead the imagination to. It's a moment of rich, if weird-and-whacky, pickings of art in the times of 21st-century peril — it's fantastical!

Simon Rees, 8th charity auction curator
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