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P74 Gallery

Domen Dimovski: King’s democracy

5 – 27 October 2017
P74 Gallery, Trg Prekomorskih brigad 1, Ljubljana

You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition by Domen Dimovski at P74 Gallery, on Thursday, 5 October 2017 at 7 p.m.

Cyber hero Max Headroom, the popular icon from the mid-1980s, represents the original inspiration for the project by Domen Dimovski. The character of Max Headroom, a satire of the insincere, egocentric television show host, thrilled the public with his cynicism and disrespectful behavior. He was said to have come from a near future dominated by television and large corporations, which opens questions about the development of technology and media in the future as well as the development of artificial intelligence.

In the project King’s Democracy, Dimovski develops a computer-animated character, which instead of representing the high-tech robot from the future in its form, embodies the so-called Sun King, Louis XIV. With the image he connects to perhaps the most famous portrait of the ruler by the court painter Hyacinth Rigaud and to the stainless steel version by Jeff Koons. In the gallery installation, we follow a digital animation of a “reincarnated” Louis XIV, who is collecting the most current, instantaneous political tweets from the social media world of Twitter and using them to address the gallery visitors. The artist has preselected the Twitter accounts of political leaders from around the globe, such as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, people with many followers. These accounts create a temporary database of “politician speak” limited to 140 characters, continuously updated on the projection under the animated character. The animated monarch randomly reads the political descriptions from the selection of tweets. The project also includes the comments from followers that accompany the selected tweets.

Already for some years, Twitter is a space of political spectacle reflecting the duel for power and representing the current status of the media landscape. While reading the unending statements from the Internet, the character of Louis XIV does not remain emotionally cold. We observe the changes of emotions on his face and recognize anger, sadness, disgust and humor. The choice of the person who is standing behind the animated character is not by chance. The absolutist monarch was known for his luxurious lifestyle and for establishing France’s sovereignty among European countries. He represents a parallel to the contemporary domination and influence of information technologies, lead by the top of today’s social hierarchy. With the help of the spectacle and splendor of social networks, it redirects attention from the true problems of the everyday.

Today, individuals face two alternatives: to either simply ignore the information / misinformation flood or welcome only selected sources. In this, the Internet algorithms of the so-called personalized content only further confirm our narrow convictions by which content is organized through us. Domen Dimovski offers the gallery visitor the opportunity to remain active – by commenting on the tweets that are seen on the projection (directly as authors of the written tweets), by utilizing the hashtag #KingsDemocracy on Twitter to connect to websites that touch upon the overlooked themes from the media world (or by sending comments via the contact form at the URL http://kings-democracy.weebly.com/). The public can thus cake an active role in co-creating the archive of the websites that potentially spread the less-represented ideas and content that are not affiliated with the narrow network of dominant news and content.

Domen Dimovski (1995, Kranj). After finishing the Secondary School for Design and Photography in Ljubljana, he enrolled in the Academy for Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana (UL ALUO) and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in video and new media. He is active in the field of arts, animation and design. He has collaborated in student group exhibitions and has presented his work on festivals such as ANIMFEST, Athens, Greece (2015), Grossman, Ljutomer (2015), Animateka, Ljubljana (2015), This human world, Vienna, Austria (2012).
For his work, he was a runner up in the international short film competition 60-Second Science 2012, Melbourne, Australia (2012); a recognition from the United Nations Association of Slovenia UNAS for a short film on human rights, Ljubljana (2012); and the ALUO student award, Ljubljana (2017).
The exhibition King’s Democracy in P74 Gallery is the first solo exhibition of Domen Dimovski.
Author: Domen Dimovski
Programming: Matej Slemenik