“Life is not life but rock rearranging itself under the sun”
“There is a deeper reason why ‘humanity’ will never control technology. Technology is not something that humankind can control. It is an event that has befallen the world.”
Straw Dogs, John Gray
Vigo Gallery presents Faults / Folds / Falls, the second solo show by Nika Neelova at the gallery.
Faults / Folds / Falls comprises a series of sculptures and a large sculptural installation that, the exhibition imagines, inhabit a post-human age. It is a world in which human needs and definitions have almost completely disappeared. They remain only as a vestigial memory, visibly encoded in the forms of the sculptures, which seem to have evolved, over countless generations, out of a number of common functional items once designed by humans; office chairs, crowd-control barriers, IKEA stools and cabinets.
In the fictional space presented by the exhibition these objects, freed from the tyranny of human needs, take center stage. They exude a powerful presence within the space and appear to be engaged in dynamic, communicative relations with each other… some form of exchange is occurring, but one that we could never fully understand in the way that plant communication will always remain, essentially, mysterious to humans.
Symbolically using geological terminology (faults, folds, folds, each being different geological phenomena), Neelova, imaginatively speaking, has stepped outside the Holocene and radically shifted the temporal frames of reference within which we would locate art, blurring the definitions of sculpture, furniture, architecture and nature.
Just as British philosopher John Gray argues that technology is not a human invention, but a phenomena that we as a species temporarily co-exist and interact with, so to are the elements that we prize within our experience and understanding of art, design and architecture, such as colour, material and form, all properties latent in the material make-up of the world. Long after we are gone, many of these properties will remain, although always changing, and they will continue to combine and recombine creating new forms and phenomena, until the universe dies.
Neelova’s art is a dream about this future space and time.
Nika Neelova was born in Moscow, Russia. She has studied at the Royal Art Academy in The Hague and has received a Master of Fine Art from the Slade School of Art in London. Upon graduation she was awarded the Kenneth Armitage Young Sculptor Prize, the Land Security Prize Award, the Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award and was the winner of the Saatchi New Sensations. Neelova's work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom and internationally, recent exhibitions including solo shows at Ron Mandos gallery, Amsterdam and Vigo Gallery London. Recent group shows include Archeologia e Architettura, Fondazione 107 in Turin; Stiftelsen 3,14 Bergen; Brand New Second Hand at Vigo Gallery; Lichtspiele at Museum Biedermann; Warp&Woof at The Hole Gallery, New York; The Crisis Commission London; Great Men Die Twice at Mario Sequeira Gallery, Portugal; Gaiety is most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union at the Saatchi Gallery; White Nights at PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art.