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Kirill Makarov
Voiced dictate of transparency

13 April — 15 May 2021
H8 Triangle Gallery

Kirill Makarov
Voiced dictate of transparency

Triangle Gallery is pleased to present a new solo exhibition of Kirill Makarov, The Voiced Dictate of Transparency.

Kirill Makarov's new project (born 1988, lives and works in St. Petersburg) "The Voiced Dictate of Transparency" is a reflection on the modern nature of loneliness, fantasies generated by isolation, and the communicative potential hidden in the gaze that builds a conversation between the screen, the subject and looking. Makarov explores the symbiotic and at the same time problematic relationship between screens, social platforms and the user: he enters into a dialogue with the current psychoanalytic ideas of the Lacanian tradition. The idea of ​​a new exhibition project stems fr om one meeting of Makarov with his friends, at which the artist found himself simultaneously in the position of a participant involved in the conversation and an outside observer, experiencing an irreconcilable feeling of loneliness and splitting the general conversation into protoelements: gestures, glances, emotional outbursts. Analyzing them, Makarov collects a palette of tools for talking about the gaze formed by the methodology of Lacanian psychoanalysis, which he began with his partner, poet and psychoanalyst Ksenia Kononenko during self-isolation in 2020.
We live in an era of isolation, as no one else knows where boundaries begin and end. The self-isolation of the last year did not exacerbate our total isolation from each other, but for the first time created space for redefining the conversation. Psychoanalysts argue that the feeling of loneliness reveals the secret desire of a person, the desire to be understood without resorting to speech. Obviously, if someone meets people in order to enter into a conversation, this is because there is a secret desire for something that the other cannot say to be comprehended by others, a secret desire to be understood without resorting to speech. Loneliness also means being able to speak up. This goes beyond simply separating oneself from the presence of others, as it can mean: separating from one's own word, from one's own speech, and suddenly returning to a company wh ere no one is spoken.

The coronavirus has exacerbated a previously imperceptible epidemic of loneliness in the world and turned people into participants in the largest psychological experiment on the planet. In the midst of the pandemic, MIT employees conducted a series of experiments and found that hunger and social isolation promote the activation of the same area of ​​the midbrain, it is part of the reward system and is responsible for the circulation of the hormone motivation. According to American psychologists, in the body of socially isolated people, inflammatory reactions increase: the body also reacts to stress, injuries, infections and other threats to life and health. In addition, single people have a 22 percent higher risk of premature death. Social isolation not only negatively affects a person's mental health: it can cause depression, paranoid feelings, suicidal thoughts and sleep disorders, but also affects the work of the cardiovascular system.

During self-isolation, Makarov continued his experiments with the study of the possibilities that game programs and rendering engines (Unreal Engine) provide for modern painting. With their help, the artist, fascinated by immersion in the relationship of man with images and the machines that produce them, collects compositions in his paintings, linking together not only the animated textures of fabrics, clothes, veils, on which the texture is applied, thereby simulating the physical properties of materials and physical phenomena, but also images of other canvases stored in the workshop and recursively appearing in his paintings. The canvases show a view of themselves, placed at a certain distance from the gaze of the beholder. The compositions are assembled according to the principle of a mirror maze of reflections - images from the canvases multiply in each other in order to keep the gaze of the beholder on their surface for as long as possible.

Psychoanalyst and Ph.D. Clotilde Legil writes that Lacan defined the unconscious as a fleeting vision through which we can understand the secret of the subject's attraction, its special logic; through it the trauma opens and the missed meeting with the Real is revealed. Therefore, Lacan was interested in the gaze, in order to grasp what of the unconscious is not purely symbolic, and to allow the gaze to grasp what will no longer be just imaginary. Lacan was interested in looking beyond narcissism when, after Freud, he wondered about the nightmare and what it gives us to see. The look is also something that confronts us with a riddle, because we do not always know what we are looking at. In addition to an imaginary relationship to what is perceived, the gaze also confronts us with what is looking at us without our knowledge. Mass narcissism is a globalized and digitized version of the mirror stage that turns the subject into the visible, but this visible is not incarnated by the Other, but becomes visible to anyone, any anonymous, turning the subject into a being lost in the quest, the purpose of which remains unclear. If Lacan described the gaze as something that confronts us with the riddle of what we see, then in our time the gaze tends to make itself a means of disappearing any riddle. The compulsion of a glance is a “spectacle” that does not pass through the riddle, does not force anyone to guess, but the spectacle imposes on the subject pleasure in the manner of exhibitionism. The spectacle has an exhibitionistic structure because the status of the gaze involved does not include sublimation or questioning.

Revision of the canons of painting from new positions and the enrichment of its tools with new computer technologies are at the heart of Makarov's artistic searches. The artist's latest projects are at the intersection of media technology, art and poetry and represent a synthesis of virtual play space and canvases based on computer games. In the series "The Talk of the Dictate of Transparency" Makarov creates a conversation between painting and a game modulator for smartphones that simulates a hand gesture. Working with the screen, the visitor can leave any trace on the screen, quickly disappearing, like waves on water or smoke, but which can be quickly reproduced again in the same place, bewitching with the simplicity and senselessness of its own mechanics. Makarov is captured by reflections on the difference between a person's gaze at the screen and at a picture. The screen, on the image of which the entire modern culture and protocols of social interactions are built, is captivating - you do not have an incessant conversation with it. The screen forces a person to enjoy, deprives the riddle (as opposed to a picture), forces him to be constantly in sight, to look somehow, to enjoy it: in order to continue to exist, you must show to another that you exist, you must show to another what you have, and above all, show the other what you are looking at.

The prospect of reducing all our impressions to the impressions received through the screen of the gadget cannot but be alarming. All our sociality is inside a smartphone, which is destined to become outdated in a year. Screens are instruments of the dictates of desubjectivation and psychological exposure, adapting to our adaptive mechanisms. Once we know about behavioral targeting, our fears are confirmed, and the effect of manipulation diminishes, so marketing departments begin to develop new forms of perception management. The economics of "organized distraction" takes into account our understanding and awareness of how screen culture marketing works, but we have no choice but to succumb to this interference. What to do when you realize that you are squeezed into a corner from all sides and must put up with this mental submission? As Maurice Merleau-Ponty rightly stated, “the world has become a pure spectacle, with which I do not close, but which I contemplate and to which I point my finger ...” The gaze of the Other is imposed on us by means of communication, not so much giving us the opportunity to see, but forcing us to see our pleasure, compels our gaze. No matter how perfect the technology is - as soon as we hit the reality of the Other, calm and quick dialogue becomes an exception. When a text message is sent to someone, a response is expected to follow, and this can lead to a long and excruciating experience of waiting. It's time to acknowledge that at the heart of our addictive disorders lies the emptiness we encounter when we think about living outside the flow of information. Dopamine is a metaphor for our era. This neurotransmitter is responsible for the accelerated cycles of arousal, after which we slow down again. In social media streams, flashes of expectation for a response are followed by long periods of numbness, and social mobility is marked by similar fluctuations. As media theorist Geert Lovink has noted, swiping helps you distract yourself by sliding your fingers across the screen to let your thoughts wander. Digging into your smartphone is a new way to daydream. Without noticing our brief absence, we enjoy the feeling of a remote presence. While we, checking social networks, leave the boundaries of consciousness, a movement begins in the opposite direction, and the Other, imperceptibly for us, penetrates into our world.

Curator Alexander Burenkov