Installation artist Katja Novitskova (b. 1984, Tallinn) presents an immersive environment at the Whitechapel Gallery, offering an unsettling vision of the future.
Novitskova’s work focuses on issues of technology, evolutionary processes and ecological realities. It explores the materiality and circulation of images – how they are used, recycled and re-contextualised. She is known for her dramatic, cut-out images of animals, presented alongside imagery drawn from financial and scientific sources.
Using elements from her acclaimed presentation at the Estonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2017, her installation at Whitechapel Gallery will feature sculptural cut-out figures alongside humanlike baby-rockers, mobiles and projections. The work imagines a landscape overcome by a ‘biotic crisis’, ecologically impacted by humans, where imaging and technology are used in a process of mapping the exploitation of life.
Her installation will show images captured by scanners, cameras and satellites or rendered by image processing algorithms, displayed as vivid sculptures, and projections.
Worms defy gravity and genetically modified life forms hatch from eggs among a tangled undergrowth of cables. At the heart of the exhibition, the modified baby-rockers gyrate eerily. Surrounding this unsettling landscape, floating resin clouds are inscribed with phrases speculating on the impact of global data on our consciousness and the environment.
Growth curves, derived from corporate culture, echoed in the forms of the worms and cables, offer a wry comment on humanity’s drive towards advancement in the name of profit.
Throughout, the human body is eerily absent from the installation, replaced by stand-ins who attempt to lull the viewer into a false sense of security in the hands of technology.