post-truth /ˌpəʊst ˈtruːθ/ – relating to circumstances in which people respond more to feelings and beliefs than to facts
Despite the fact that nowadays almost everyone has a tool in their hands which can document reality, the truth is still the first victim in this world of information. There are no winners in the war for approval and consent. The flow of interpretations fools even the most insidious deceivers. Artists are the most honest in this regard – they transform reality and create interpretations openly, without hiding behind objectivity. Let’s discover a few inspiring contemporary artists who create the most sincere and beautiful post-truth in art.
The "Apocryphal" triptych by Alena Puraeva (2023) highlights the importance of critically analysing information sources and recognising the potential for misinformation and disinformation in our daily lives. The three pieces of the triptych represent different aspects of assessing and verifying information. The first piece, Gossip, features a bold and distorted font that reflects the distortion and mutation of rumours. Here we see how rumours and gossip can quickly spread and be distorted through social networks, leading to false information being disseminated widely. The News piece draws attention to the immediacy and impact of breaking news which has the challenge of verifying information in real-time, with all the potential for mistakes or inaccuracies in reporting that brings. The third piece, Network, represents the complexity of navigating the digital world and the issue of finding accurate and trustworthy information sources. The information can be manipulated and distorted in the online environment, making it difficult to discern truth from falsehood.
Alena Puraeva, Apocryphal (2023)
Printing technology: silkography
Furkan Aydin, an artist from artistically eccentric Istanbul, Turkey, recreates the world using things that surround us in daily life, and gives birth to new ones via the use of lighting. Among the multiplex lighting installations there are projects in which he intentionally uses the simplest of tools to show complex life phenomena. In Stellar Essence (2023) the artist gets inspiration from the cosmos and star collapse in particular. By directing a laser onto a crystal chandelier in the darkness, Aydin is able to create a stunning light show that resembles the nebula of a newborn star. The resulting photos are reminiscent of space telescope images, with constellations, nebulae, and other celestial objects on display.
But beyond its aesthetic appeal, Aydin's work also serves as a reminder of the limitations of human perception. The phenomenon of star collapse is difficult for humans to comprehend, yet it is a natural process that occurs according to its own rules outside of our understanding. Aydin believes that truth lies in simplicity and light, and that by directing light into darkness, we can gain a clearer understanding of the world around us.
Furkan Aydin, Stellar Essence (2023)
In Classic Russian literature there is a fable about a dragonfly who had fun all summer, but when autumn arrived she realised she did not do enough to get ready for the cold. No one came to help her, punishing her recklessness. The moral of this early 19th century fable is so clearly reflected in today’s productivity trend. Veronika Stetsenko's diptych "Odonata" and "Dragonfly" addresses the pressure and expectations that individuals face in contemporary society. The fable of the dragonfly serves as a metaphor for the pressure to be productive and achieve success in life, and the consequences of not meeting those expectations. Stetsenko's use of abstract forms in her digital works adds a sense of freedom and rebellion. By rejecting the conventional rules of representation, she challenges the viewer to question their own assumptions about the world around them. The artist's message is clear: individuals have the right to live their lives on their own terms, free from the judgement of others. The pressure to conform to societal expectations can be overwhelming, and it is important to remember that everyone has their own unique path in life. Stetsenko also highlights the role that mass culture and social media play in perpetuating these unrealistic expectations. The constant bombardment of images and messages promoting success and achievement can be exhausting, and it is important to be mindful of how these messages can affect our mental health and well-being.
In the 2023 released single “I feel” the extravagant singer-songwriter Anasteisha Swan stands up for real feelings and emotions against the interpretations the mass media suggests. This tangle of human emotions is so twisted it is difficult for us to determine what we feel and why, yet social media tells us that we should be self-aware. People turn to the internet and social media for guidance and advice, but this often leads to distorted interpretations and a lack of understanding of our true feelings. Through her music, Swan encourages us to embrace the emotions without any external influence or interpretation. She argues that our feelings are valid and should be acknowledged and understood in their purest form. The pressure to conform to societal norms and expectations can often lead us to suppress our true emotional experiences, but it is important to embrace them and understand their significance in our lives. Swan's message is especially relevant in the age of social media, where influencers and self-proclaimed experts often offer their own interpretations of emotions and mental health issues. She encourages us to trust our own instincts and not to seek guidance from pop culture.
Polina Nekliudova's approach to photography is unique and refreshing. She captures and conveys the essence of her subject matter through minimalistic and abstract imagery. In her work, she strives to remove the noise and distractions that we encounter in our lives, in order to reveal something essential that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Her piece "Somebody Else" is a prime example of this approach. By portraying an anonymous portrait of a man, Nekliudova invites us to depart from the personal, the temporary, and the superficial, and merge with the essence of the image. The magnificent cliffs in the background act as a powerful symbol of nature and timelessness, inviting the viewer to reflect on the eternal nature of existence.
Through this artwork, Nekliudova suggests that by simplifying our lives and embracing silence, we can connect with something deeper and more meaningful. The image encourages us to pause and take a moment to contemplate the beauty and simplicity of life, rather than getting caught up in the noise and distractions of modern society.
Alfia Koral is a Russian artist who left her home country in 2022 due to her political beliefs. Her works serve as a powerful protest against mass propaganda and the belief that war is the only solution to international problems.
Koral finds inspiration in the majestic beauty of nature, which she sees as an undeniable truth because it has no insidious motives. Her stylistic approach is heavily influenced by the Old Masters, and she works primarily in oil, using bold sweeping strokes and a soft meditative palette.
Koral's art serves as a call to action against the pervasive influence of propaganda in the current political climate. Through her paintings, she seeks to challenge the narrative pushed by politicians and oligarchs that war is necessary for solving international problems. Instead, she presents nature as a reminder of the inherent beauty and harmony that can be achieved without resorting to violence.
In a world where truth is often subjective and manipulated for political and financial gain, contemporary art stands out as a beacon of honesty and integrity. These bold and powerful artworks serve as a reminder of the importance of critical thinking, and the need to resist the seductive appeal of propaganda. Artists remind us that there is always a choice – we can either succumb to the lies and deceptions of those in power, or we can seek out the truth and strive for a more peaceful world.