Inverso Mundus: AES+F

30 September - 3 November 2016
Overview

The concept of Inverso Mundus is rooted in the ancient Roman Empire, when during Saturnalia, the most important festival of the Julian calendar, traditional social rules were reversed as masters were called on to serve their slaves. Within the frame of contemporary society, the imagery of Inverso Mundus becomes disturbing, exquisite and timeless.

Installation Views
Press release

Mobius has the honor to present Inverso Mundus, a solo exhibition of works by AES+F, for the first time exhibited in Romania. The show will comprise drawings, a limited edition of stills and the video installation Inverso Mundus (3 channel, 38'20"), curated by David Elliott. The exhibition is on display from September 30th through November 4th.

AES+F is an artist collective formed as AES in 1987, by three Russian artists: Tatiana Arzamasova (1955), Lev Evzovich (1958), Evgeny Svyatsky (1957), and joined in 1995 by Vladimir Fridkes (1956), at which point the group was renamed to AES+F.

The concept of Inverso Mundus is rooted in the ancient Roman Empire, when during Saturnalia, the most important festival of the Julian calendar, traditional social rules were reversed as masters were called on to serve their slaves. Within the frame of contemporary society, the imagery of Inverso Mundus becomes disturbing, exquisite and timeless.

Engravings of the "World Upside Down", known since at least the 16th century, depict such scenes as a pig gutting a butcher, a child punishing his teacher, a man carrying a donkey on his back, a man and woman exchanging their roles and dress, and a beggar in rags magnanimously bestowing alms on a rich man. These images also contain demons, chimeras, fish flying through the sky, and Death itself, variously with a scythe or wearing the mask of a plague doctor.

The title of the work, Inverso - meaning in Italian reverse or opposite and in Old Italian poetry, and Mundus - Latin for the world, hints at a reorientation of reality, a poetic vision. In AES+F's interpretation absurdist scenes from medieval carnivals appear in a multichannel video frieze as episodes from contemporary life: characters act out scenes of absurd social utopias and exchange masks, morphing from beggars to rich men, from policemen to thieves. Metrosexual street-cleaners shower the city with refuse. Female inquisitors torture men on IKEA-style wheels and racks. Children and seniors slug it out in a kickboxing match.

Inverso Mundus is a world where chimeras are pets and the Apocalypse is entertainment.