Last Riot 2
Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London is pleased to be hosting a photographic exhibition at its Bloomsbury campus entitled Last Riot 2 by AES+F, the contemporary artists’ collective from Moscow. Showing from 1 – 15 June, the exhibition in London follows a major retrospective of their work at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg opening on 25 May, 2007 which spans a period from the early 90s to the present day.
Last Riot 2 features new work bearing the incomparable creative imprint of this artists’ collective. Their work has been described by journalists and critics as shocking, unambiguous, tough, straightforward and ironic. As photographic images printed on canvas, the Panoramas and Tondos in the exhibition are captivating and discuss contemporary heroism in an era when everything including wars appear sanitised. The heroes of these modern day wars are alienated teenagers, in the prime of their lives, their eyes revealing heroism, their minds nurturing the aspiration to be Kings and Queens in the 3-D worlds specially created for them.
Curated by Sidonio Costa and Oksana Kolomenskaya, the exhibition showcases new pieces by the collective and also celebrates the end of the academic year of Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s newest postgraduate programme: MA in Photography (Historical and Contemporary).
Inspired by Caravaggio, Last Riot 2 shows us hopeless and mad images, the inhabitants of this virtual universe wear fake expressions and all look the same. It is a game that celebrates the end of individual identity and is a critique of the disappearance of great icons and stars. Compared with the collective’s previous series, Action Half Life, where no pain or blood and no visible enemy were evident, these latest works go beyond suggestion. Last Riot 2 is more assertive and even more unapologetic. It is another war episode developing in a virtual 3-D world of virtual madness set against a baroque atmosphere. This time the war heroes have as background an even more virtual world where paradisiacal and catastrophic images are mixed together.
To reduce any differences in their virtual world and focus our attention on their actions, the soldiers in these works are androgynous. They have one identity, that of rebels of the “last riot”. The AES+F collective describes them “…everyone is fighting against the others and against themselves. There is no difference between victim and aggressor, male and female.”
For further media information, please contact:
, US, Europe:
Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Tel. +44 20 7462 3245
1 - 15 June, 2007, Monday to Friday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London
30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE
Tel. 020 7462 3232
Sidonio Costa has been living and working in London for over five years now, he has a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Museum Studies) from Coimbra University in Portugal, and a Post-graduation in Sociology on Globalization and Identity (Media Studies) from the same university. Sidonio has done research for his Post-graduation in the USA both at Brown University and University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has been working with museums and art galleries since 2001. Currently he works as a freelance curator and contemporary art consultant and agent for art galleries in the UK, France, USA and other countries. He is also a freelance journalist for art/culture magazines. Sidonio is the Programme Co-ordinator of a new Masters Degree in Photography (Historical and Contemporary) at Sotheby's Institute of Art London.
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