In the world of hyperconnectivity, it has become increasingly more difficult to show our true emotions. Have we become socially indistinct mechanisms? Perhaps artificial intelligence has become human intelligence. Or have we become detached to the extent to which we have lost our individuality, identity, our sense of self, not only for ourselves, but in others as well, the person standing next to us who is trying to communicate with us, even on a virtual level.
Metodi Angelov’s latest project treats alternative mediums using experimental techniques. He uses cling film on which he prints photographs after which he mechanically and manually develops them. The stock photos are attached that were previously developed and used for the purposes of this project. These are portraits of locations, friends, acquaintances and random models. The photograph is used as a guide or the foundation for mechanical artistic development or full visual change. Its editable and changeable nature results from the use of the medium as a base (solvent print) and the medium that will be used for the development or change of the visual part (solvent thinner).
This is a wide spectrum of portraits that show slightly hidden, contorted or fragmented faces, hinting at monstrous images that we see in ourselves and others too, deformed personalities decomposed due to time and the circumstances of existential capacity. By mechanically changing the portrait image to defocus and deform, a feeling of uncontrolled movement is created that emphasises the nature of how we live today and the extent to which the human brain and all its senses is overloaded with different sensations and various burdens.
There is a sense of sentimentality in terms of this cycle of work produced by Angelov, because it acts as a warning to humanity, but in a very subtle and delicate way, of the dangers that we will encounter and the fact that we may lose our individuality and identity. It’s up to us to prevent it but it also depends on the social and political circumstances in which we live in and of course on how quickly we can adapt to new circumstances and sensations (in positive and negative sense).
On the other hand, this cycle can also encompass a spiritual thread that include metaphysics and speaks to us on a different, a higher level of communication and trust that is discursive and advances.
In terms of contemporary art, as opposed to postmodern and neoliberal art to which we generally refer to today and within which Angelov’s work can be identified, we can also visually sense the futuristic reference precisely because of the feeling of suggested movement of the pieces with forms and shapes and elements that can be repeatedly observed and create a certain imitation and effectuation.
We are witnessing similar portrait experiences every day, but the fact that we are directly in contact with them, without any censorship has created an unnerving feeling and we become aware of the dangers around us that are a necessary part of “emancipation”, “modernization” and “technological progress” and we can only hope that we will not lose our identity any time soon.
Ana Frangovska, curator