The four Russian artists who make up AES+F (Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladimir Fridkes) collaborate on highly conceptual interdisciplinary projects that combine photography, video, installation, performance, and mixed media. They construct elaborate, allegorical scenarios to make biting social commentary, such as in the “King of the Forest” series (2001-03), in which the artists allow modern economic and social structures that exploit youth to stand in for the "King" figure, a reference to a folkloric creature who kidnapped children and locked them in his palace. The works are documentations of performances orchestrated by AES+F in St. Petersburg, Cairo, and New York, for which they brought together masses of children often exploited, such as ballerinas and models, or incorrectly thought to be exploited, such as those in Islamic society. By capturing these children in cavernous spaces—Catherine the Great’s palace, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, and Times Square—the artists highlight their fragility.
Russian, Founded 1987, Moscow, Russia, based in Moscow, Russia