Blue.Seventeen is a post-apocalyptic landscape that exists in the world “without us”: on the planet where we still exist as a species, leave traces — however, in this very moment we’ve stepped back, and from the active agents turned into spectators, detached from the action itself. Imagine the flight mode in a computer game, when one’s role of a player is replaced by the position of a scenery watcher: the one who got stuck in the moment, when the so-called present has not yet fallen into the past in order to free the space for some upcoming future. Here the linear passage of time is replaced by the relationship of co-composition amongst things and events, which are intentionally deprived of duration — the parameter that is inherently human-specific, as it is imposed by human determinism. Here the processes of production and consumption once reached its critical speed; and then “everything was so slow that even death became impossible, because dying itself was extended over such a long periods that it has become unbearable and no one wanted to die anymore.” (Neelova, 2016)
The works by artists Olga Grotova, Nika Neelova and Yelena Popova explore the materiality of this speculative space and experiment with the possibilities of art production and consumption within it. The time-based works by Olga Grotova deconstruct the linear vision of history — by exposing the artifice of the very idea of time as continuum. Her paintings, created by a means of screen-printing and digital post-production, reveal the transformation of a real artistic gesture into a fictional one. In so doing they question the notion of memory of the past, and seek the possibility of memory of the future. Reflecting the utopian envision of art production as anti-production, the paintings and ceramics by Yelena Popova are made from the materials that are “borrowed” from our planet, recycled, and used again: ashes, soil and organic colour pigments. Presented as a part of one exposition, the works exist as one living organism, spreading and occupying the room. Finally, the sculptural works by Neelova act as the ready-mades of this world without us. In graceful silence they are expecting the spectator of the future — the one who is distanced from the present moment for the minimal amount of time, required to deny the comforting reality produced by the framework of human’s eye and life-span.
— by Sasha Burkhanova, 2017.