The main motif of Fedotov-Fedorov’s art is the use of natural scientific knowledge. The artist adopts its main characteristics: the depiction of biological processes and forms from the cell to the habitat, linguistic features and ways of presenting knowledge (formulas, drawings, and so on), methodological principles and types of representation (entomological collections, card catalogues). With their help, he reveals the subjective nature of the acquisition of knowledge and its dependence on individual experience. He shows that we perceive and describe the surrounding world in accordance with the language that we use.
To develop this theme, Fedotov-Fedorov’s exhibition of on-going artistic project Preservation Instinct makes use of archival elements and the museum format. Objects presented at the exhibition are neither human nor natural in form but resemble exoskeletons of extinct beings, models, samples; sketches, drawings, maps, and blueprints that seem, at first, to be ordered and make up a “collection”. These objects are strange and mysterious, they seem to suggest the appearance of a “post-human” world in which differences between organic nature and non-organic matter have been effaced and animals and plant species have mutated, adapted or changed so much that they have become unrecognizable. These artifacts and relics may well be all that remains of the diversity of the world and brings life to a barren apocalyptic landscape.
Fedotov-Fedorov poses the question of the utility of preserving and describing these things literally a second before the collapse takes place. Perhaps, in a hostile environment, they are fragments and elements of a person’s worldview that he desperately tries to save by creating an archival space.
Thus the archive leads to a distorted order and to a disruption of the objective worldview, whose assemblage point is the individual perception of the surrounding world. The only thing that can reconstruct the archival space is the structure of thinking and the language codes that, among the mysterious indicators of future scenarios, make it possible to recreate the world as seen by a person living out his last days.
Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov (1988, Moscow) is a Russian artist. He studied at the “Free Workshops” Contemporary Art School of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2013-2014) and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2014-2015). Fedotov-Fedorov’s portfolio includes a large number of solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in Russia and Europe, as well as participation in the Main Project of the 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art (curator: Yuko Hasegawa). His works are found in museums and private collections.