Russian Artist Marina Fedorova Takes Visitors To The Outer Space With A New Immersive Exhibition, Cosmodreams
They say the universe started with a bang.
It’s theorised that all that we know, and all that we have yet to know about, all came from an entity smaller than a speck of dust: a single primordial atom. This is the idea that was first brought forward by cosmologist, and Belgian priest, Georges Lemaître sometime in the 1920s. Not long after, Edward Hubble theorised—and proved—that the universe was expanding; relatively nearby galaxies were moving away at a speed proportional to their distance. It’s an idea that would undeniably change how people would view the cosmic universe.
If the universe has been growing and evolving over the last 14 billion years, who’s to know what existed? If it’s set to survive billions of more years, who’s to say what’s to come next?
In Cosmodreams, artist Marina Fedorova explores and reflects on her impressions of the universe; how the ever-changing, ever-expanding society we live in is simply a microcosm in the far grander scheme of things. The exhibition shows elements of Earth juxtaposed with details of outer space, co-existing in a hyperreality of Fedorova’s own making. Collectively, they make up her imagined universe, one which she urges viewers to journey across, through various snapshots.
The focal point of most of the works in the exhibition is a female heroine, drawn as though the subject of painted 1950s fashion editorials. Fashionable, and without visible flaws, their lips and donned dresses are vibrant against a background that removes them from their era.
One of them is in a candy apple-coloured swing dress hanging up the laundry as one is wont to do, but instead of used linens being hung to dry, several spacesuits rest on the clothesline. Another of these heroines is in a scarlet maillot, toes pointed on the ground, and a hand lifted to her face in thought—a matching CCCP helmet behind her, as she stares at Earth in the distant horizon.
These retro-futuristic images are Fedorova’s views on things like the being of Earth, the proficiency of technology, and the looming yet unknown future. Journeying through Cosmodreams is like dipping your toes in the pool of dystopian world. While paintings and sculptures are strewn throughout the exhibition, Fedorova drives her vision of the futuristic world further by incorporating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality into her traditional art.
Viewers can take paintings at face value, but the experience is furthered when they raise their phones to the piece, and an entire story unfolds. One of the works, for instance, shows a child looking out a window, watching the upper crest of a burning sun. When seen through a phone screen, a tiny winged blue dragon enters frame and joins the boy. Together, they watch the sun’s fiery licks turn from colours of carrot, to ruby, to magenta, then violet, before arriving at a deceivingly cool cerulean. A spaceship zips right over it once the colours stop transforming, and the boy and his dragon remain watching calmly all this time.
AR and VR come into full swing also through Fedorova’s sculptures which—again, when viewed through a phone—can be moved around to fill a corner of the room, or shrunk down to the size of a thimble. A custom-made high-resolution video at the exhibition also takes viewers on a tour of an imagined space museum.
Cosmodreams was fabricated in this manner, as a means to engage viewers of all ages, at various immersive levels. It’s a journey through galaxies and imagined days that wait up ahead. Thoughtful and inviting, outrageous yet inspiring, Fedorova’s standalone exhibition proves to be an experience that will hit you with a bang.
COSMODREAMS by Marina Fedorova is on display at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg, Russia until 1 November 2020. Discover more about the exhibition in the video below and find out more information at erarta.com and cosmodreams.com. Stay updated by following COSMODREAMS on Facebook