Over the last few years, contemporary art has been increasingly taking on forms combining theatrical stage design and ritualised performance with costume or even puppet design. The exhibition Lounge Lizard sets out a narrative scene through on-site “scenery”, performative techniques and handicraft forms merged with 3D rendered visuals.
The popularity of various puppets, muppets and mannequins in contemporary art can be perceived as an escape from post-Internet imagery, which is usually associated with the popularity of shiny surfaces and cyborg-enhanced bodies. However, the Lounge Lizard exhibition does not put in contrast the sensitive expressions and the strict 3D world of rendered avatars and CGI (computer-generated imagery) environments. Both forms have their share in the final scene and find common ground in a carefully constructed environment. It is a space shaped by infantile and naive imagination, an effort to be honest with the message and altered states of consciousness. On the other hand, it speaks of a humorous overturning of pop culture symbols and subversion of the ideology of self-optimization and performance or growth through living in foreign forms, such as a self-portrait of an artist like Marge Simpson, “cannibalization” of industrially murdered chickens or a character – drop of water, originally known as a corporate mascot of Japanese company producing air conditioning and dehumidifiers.
Dominik Styk’s objects and installations function, among other things, as a scenography for Simon Miné’s videos. Textile elements created by a relaxing, even therapeutic technique evoke animated, yet inhuman soft tissue as well as hardened and rugged limbs. In the resulting 3D jigsaw-like environment, the puppets stay in staged scenes and watch moving images from a world that is similarly artificial as theirs. The space between these worlds is alternately covered by almost ritual interventions, which hinder, illuminate or darken the path through, without denying its scenographic ingenuity.
Dominik Styk (born 1996 in Slovakia) and Simon Miné (born 1997 in Japan) met each other in Hamburg, where Miné studies at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, in the Time Based Media studio of Simon Denny. Dominik Styk studied scenography and puppet design at DAMU Prague and this year he starts his MA studies in the Time Based Media studio of Michaela Melián.
The exhibition is financially supported by the Prague City Hall and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.