“Czarnobyl Mutation” at ATM Gallery, Berlin

Flyer of Czarnobyl's "Mutation" exhibition at ATM Gallery, Berlin.

Still on exhibition at ATM Gallery [1] till May 29, 2010 you can get a glimpse of a genuine East European phenomenon of ‘phuturismatic’ aesthetics that is deeply embossed by the 1986 catastrophic nuclear trauma of Chernobyl – even avant la lettre.

Polish urban artist Czarnobyl [2] work is rooted in a tradition which were broadly recognised by Western audiences through Andrei Tarkovsky’s famous 1979 movie masterpiece Stalker [3] which prophetically visualised the idea of a kind of Pre-Chernobyl forbidden Zone were an uncanny entity is establishing paranormal influence upon the chosen few who dare to break the boundaries and eventually reach the Room in the very heart of the prohibited area.

Although loosely based upon Roadside Picnic [4]– a short story of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – which has a more generic science fiction approach to its matter, Tarkovsky’s movie has a strong dystopian attitude and in its contemporary reception it has been sometimes read then as a reference to the aftermath of the so called Tunguska Event [5] or other strictly classified, but unmistakeably man-made nuclear incidents in Soviet history before the Chernobyl hellfire break lose.

The later successful ego-shooter game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl [6] borrowed key elements from both – the Strugatsky novel and the Tarkovsky movie and embossed positively a genuine ‘post-soviet’ style of game design and futurist envision which could be described by categories like heavily dark and grey dyed contrasts and a generally ‘wrecked’ and dystopian look and feel.

More interesting background information to this whole complex can be read at BLDGBLOG’s post “Ghosts of the Future: Borrowing Architecture from the Zone of Alienation” [7].

The artwork of polish born artist Czarnobyl fully fit into this scheme, but it seems he knows to over-exaggerate it to a degree where something unique is coming into play.

[1] Official ATM gallery web site
[2] Czarnobyl’s MySpace portfolio
[3] Wikipedia on Stalker
[4] Wikipedia on Roadside Picnic
[5] Wikipedia on the Tunguska Event
[6] Wikipedia on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
[7] “Ghosts of the Future: Borrowing Architecture from the Zone of Alienation” by BLDGBLOG

Update: Today, May 25, 2010, 20:15 Franco-German high-brow culture TV channel ARTE brings the documentary Tschernobyl – Die Natur kehrt zurück (Chernobyl – Nature’s Turnig Back) (France, 2010, 90 mn) by Luc Riolon who focus on scientific observations from the Zone around the notorious havarist reactor cell. Reruns of this programme are scheduled for May 27, 2010 at 10:40 and June 15, 2010 at 01:05 – and don’t forget to use the web-based offer of a temporary archive service named ARTE+7.

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