GODS by The Antic Staatsoper
With this body of work, I looked for ways to reveal spirituality (or its loss) in the modern era.
Venus and the Dark Veil of Censorship
If I believe that art can deliver us from our material contingencies and allow us to transcend our condition, I still have doubts about our commitment to achieve this ideal. Have we lost the original meaning in Art? In our Lives? Does spirituality still make sense? Does the material world and new technologies truly allow us another level of freedom?
I imagined what kind of divinities we could create and how they could represent us. I gave birth to characters that are a mix of ancient Gods and modern psychology.
Atlas Abandoning the World
These ambivalent entities have been shaped to unveil a new morality through symbolic conflicts and struggles. Their heavenly bodies are filled with our own beliefs and behaviors. The models are often naked. Their skin is exposed to a simple lighting: the upper consciousness. Their poses express a state of instability and tension.
Narcissus Cloning #2
Will these Gods fall into decadence, redemption, forgiveness, oblivion, love, or death? This choice will depend on our own beliefs. Athena rather than Venus or Eros rather than Thanatos. Which side are we on?
Aborted Goddess of Confidence
Only the viewer can decide the outcome of the scene.
The Antic Staatsoper is the doppelganger of a French artist based currently in the San Francisco Bay Area. Let’s call him Nicolas. Born during the No-Future Years in a depressing old continent, he spent most of his youth trying to handle his own frustrations by playing guitar in various bands, living in imaginary worlds, and fighting against a settled way of life where everything had to be as it was even if he didn’t agree with it. His rational mind needed a balance and that is why he went to university for ten years where he studied the human body. He eventually decided to focus more on photography, developing different projects about modern imagery and the decay of sustainable imagery (DECORUM) or the extinction of spirituality in the modern material world and the new behavior induced by new technologies (GODS). He left France in 2014, fleeing an ending culture which has forgotten its own roots. Since his arrival in the Bay area, he has exhibited his work in many places. You can find more of his work here.
Amazing, troubling, vexing, and titillating…which means I love it.