In one state there is an exhaustive classification of organisms (institutions, bodies) that are part of the system and operate according to certain rules imposed by the highest governing elements in the hierarchical organization.
We are all part of such systems (some kind of manipulated puppets) in which we should fit, and function by set principles and norms. Often we can not fit into the molds, we feel trapped and endangered, our intellect and sound reasoning underestimated and offended, we can not breathe, so we rightfully and openly oppose, strive for our voice to be heard, to be independent, to be separated from the system, to operate as individual organisms parallel to the state. And all this is legitimate, but can we, with subversiveness, using the same (non)mechanisms of the system, the same modes and models, i.e. the weapons of the others (the opposing), to use them for our, affirmative goals on the one hand or, on the other hand, to defy, to criticize, to cynically approach them, the others, and still to be in the “framework” of the system itself? This is one of the key starting discourses for Boris Semov in his latest project “12:05”.
In this project Semov knowingly makes a multimedia, visual and performative experiment in which the point is in the conceptual synesthesia, and not in the exhibition as exhibition. He creates visual stimuli that, according to their aesthetic qualifications are perceived as an exhibition, and between the elements there is a connection and analogy with his previous opuses (nomadism, reference, collage, experimentation, synthetic, industrialism, mass, multifaceted complex conceptualization etc.). The multimedia and complexity, serve only as background as a visual art backup. By using aspects of a position of power, i.e. the syntax “I can,” Semov with art and visual attributes at the exhibition creates spin and manipulation, with the aim of achieving “hidden” purposes, and for individual needs, without notice, with prolonged action, similar to the position of power of the statesmen systems and all the levels of human manipulation to which we are witnesses. Therefore there is the drone , flying robot that is guided manually by remote control and often serves for recording (now banned for use without prior permission) at mass gatherings. Hence the “secret”, “spying”, “disturbing” nature hidden behind their use. It is the aspect of a kind of “control from above,” no matter how “from above” would be understood. Placed inside, the drone produces different, modified and dislocated juxtaposition, to the positions of power, of the manipulators and the manipulated, of anxiety or indifference, fear or ridicule.
Boris Semov’s tendency with this project is with minimum elements or works (videos, digital graphics and performance indoors) involved to allow the concept to auto-generate in the recipient’s awareness and knowledge, without giving a “recipe” for reading the work and discourses. On the other hand, that moment of self-generating of the work is present in the process of creating the work, with emphasis on the synthetic and industrial moment. The elements of the project (video, digital graphics, drone) are generated largely by themselves (with the help of programs, applications, trained pilots), under the supervision of the artist, but not with predominant intervention by him, putting emphasis on the role of author – creator nowadays and his per sé intellectual input into the process of creating the work.
The video consists of material of intercut footage, filmed with the drone, or extracts from certain mechanical actions whose dynamic and visual synesthesia attracted the attention of the author and somehow fit into the artist’s systematic discourse. The surrealism of the artificially staged footage is irreversible; it creates irrationality that underlines the attractiveness of the psychological chaos, of the systemic without a system. The changing of roles, i.e. placing already known conditions in a new context are particular incursions into the systemic pattern, and the background author atonal music (author Damjan Tsvetkov Dimitrov), manipulates the recipient with stimuli that do not give concrete data and narrative, but they divert or attract their attention.
The photographs – digital graphics obtained with collages of scenes from video materials. Semov uses digital application that confuses giving information that is not appropriate for that program. He shows the materials with a panoramic picture of every single (digitally-generated) as a synthesis of the film. Grouping all the panoramic images together creates a new group “panorama” of a lot of information and the crowd, which as dynamic and visually aesthetic play has long interested the author.
The performative element of the drone (its presence and maneuvering as an aesthetic element in the exhibition), for the recipient who has no previous knowledge will be a non-artistic act by itself, because it has no inversiveness of meanings in its functionality (it is used to record), there will probably be no discursiveness for it and no authorial intervention (the maneuvering is by third parties). But the act of changing the location of its use, the psychological moment of control and the intrusion inside are some kind of appendices of the conceptual decision of the author to declare this element as part of an art project, and moreover as a key element, a knowledge that the observer will acquire by being the active accomplice in the performance of recording with the drone whose maneuvering, on the other hand, can be interpreted as an industrial ballet.
Pleading to telling “nothing,” to creating an exhibition “with exhibition as a general basis,” to achieving tension and moment of anticipation (even the title 12:05 is seemingly insignificant, and according Semov, is an aspect of anything goes, however is an element that suggests a countdown, and thus something uncertain what follows), Boris Semov creates a project that is current and philosophical. He initiates discussions about important social and socio-political issues, treats the aspect of the system regime, also touching to institutional critique, and actualizes the discourses of art and authorship today, in affirmative and critical connotations. Hence the project “12:05” once again confirms the complexity of the creative process as an imperative in the need for artistic existence of Boris Semov.