Soft Room by Anna Taganzeva-Kobzeva: Which of us is the Golem?
At the center of it, there is Golem. He is a character that according to legend was created from clay. Not a human being, but more like a video game avatar. And the context of this place, vitrine, is very fitting. We can all relate to the idea of a character in a glass box - it’s about soft power and media bubbles and our general feeling of lostness.
Operating in the intersection of the archaic and man-made environment, Anna Taganzeva-Kobzeva’s works offer a multi-faceted perspective on the 21st century New Mythology. Inspired by the history of her family, knowledge of traditional healing and shamanism, that was passed down through generations, Anna uses hieroglyphs, runes, cuneiform, Nabatean writing and transforms archaic symbols with modern science and technology.
John Searle's famous 1980 experiment "Chinese Room" was refuting the hypothesis that a digital machine can have consciousness in the same sense that humans do. Referencing that experiment in her new project, SOFT ROOM, Anna places Golem, a mythical anthropomorphic creature associated with the mindless exercise of functions, in a closed space of the vitrine. The room is filled with the almost cozy softness of soft fabrics and is illuminated by a warm moonlight - the only reminder of the temporal context of the outside world. As the centerpiece of the exhibition, Golem takes on a role of atemporality, the Avatar, the character who acquires his features depending on the context and becomes trapped in a moment where the present remains hostage to the "great past" and the utopian future at one time.
Making an attempt to "reassemble the future," Anna invites us to observe a new experiment where past and future are perceived as modifications of the present, and the glittering shop windows around us cast doubt on which of us is the Golem.