Journey to a surreal world of Augustin Rebetez’s unconsciousness

Our world went through numerous transformations in the course of 20th century with almost every sphere of human life changing drastically. And art is no exception. From relatively simple depictions of surroundings, it moved to the complex structure full of innovation, controversy that we see today. Though the purpose of art is infinity debatable, we can say for sure that it has to show us different sides of our existence and the world… maybe even create a new one.

That’s precisely what Augustin Rebetez does in his work, introducing a viewer to a slightly creepy dimension on the edge of mythology and mysticism. 01

15 He is a true embodiment of the contemporary multidisciplinary focus of art. The dynamism of Rebetez’s works is due to his usage of various media. He creates a surreal stream of consciousness, sometimes humorous and tragicomic, but always bizarre and perplexing; he experiments with video, performances, installations, sculpture, photography, painting – the list goes on.


14 The peculiar feature to his art is that though it has its distinguishing mysterious and a bit dark, surreal feeling, it contains references to the variety of styles throughout art history. The nodes to the early modernism, tribal art, and even anime culture can be observed as well as some Tim Burton’s motives and grotesque aura of Franz Kafka’s literature. 06

02 Augustin Rebetez not only gives an audience a glimpse of his vivid imagination, but tries to express his experiences and influences through art, while also attempting to understand life and human nature. “I’m not religious but I want to know what life is… For this work I have this old idea that things come to us from outside, that our feelings and emotions don’t just come from our soul, that our imagination doesn’t just come from our brain, but that they connect to something beyond our bodies.

10 With Carl Jung and the idea of the collective unconsciousness in mind, Rebetez’s art can be seen as a bridge between our “historical” nature and modern selves. Primal instincts and a post-modern reality combined with a unique, dreamy (or rather nightmarish) aesthetics makes these artworks exceptionally powerful.

ewq We want to see more and more of them, to get to the bottom of the meaning, to figure out what are they standing for. And though formally we are looking at the products of artist’s mind, this journey occurs in our own inner worlds. Search for answers never stops and Augustin Rebetez definitely has set some peculiar guiding lines along the way to discover the surreal dimension of our thoughts, fears and desires.

Ren Hang and his tragic intimate vision

“My pictures discuss survival,” Ren Hang once said of his photography. Taking into account his sudden death which shook the art world on Friday, these words sound particularly touching. The world acclaimed artist committed a suicide just a month before turning 30. He struggled with depression and documented his battles at his website, turning his thoughts into a journal and poems. His photographic works are also poetic without a doubt. Let’s have a closer look at his daring and provocative work that reflected many of the social and political issues in his native China.   000034 Over the years, Ren Hang honest vision of the China’s younger generation has gained fans around the globe. His photos explore the eroticism and gender-identity and are often explicit and contain a lot of nudity. Due to this fact the Chinese government, where pornographic imagery had been forbidden since 1949, did not appreciate his works and banned Hang’s exhibitions numerous times. Despite the controversy and even arrests, the artist was still willing to live and work in China. “The censorship makes me want to stay even more. Not being able to do what you want in your own country is such a tragic way to live.” he said. However, Ren Hang denied any political or social basis for his photography. But despite his own words, his oeuvre served as a kind of mirror for the current situation and prejudices in Chinese society, where nudity and corporeality are silenced as something shameful, rather than freeing and natural. 2dfgbsdf Indeed, though the images are very sexually-charged, they give an impression of an intimate journey, mixed with some hints of surrealism. The reason for that might be the participation of photographer’s friends in his shots; he worked only with his inner circle of people who was darling to him. This fact empowers the concept of his works even more; from one point they frankly portray the younger generation, from another – we feel the connection among the models and photographer. There is no shyness in his photos, but in an openly friendly manner, not an aggressive sexual way. 3ghjg These universally experienced, intimate motives which interlace in Ren Hang’s work are quite a unique phenomenon. Coming from the industrial area of China, he also wanted to depict people in the mechanized world, especially taking into consideration the industrialization of his home country and some stereotypes connected with it. He wanted to show real people, with bodies, gender, desires and fears, living in the complex world, just like the rest of us.  4jdfj I don’t want others having the impression that Chinese people are robots with no cocks or pussies,” artist stated. This quality of “earthly” people who are in a constant search of freedom and harmony makes Hang’s photos very relatable.

Such a brilliant, honest and eclectic vision, a true contemporary visual poet, Ren Hang will be forever missed. Let’s follow his advice and spent more time with friends and family, though we might not know what are they going through and human affection and kindness may be just the remedy everyone needs in our crazy never stopping world. 5jrtpd

An unsettling infinity: GIF art by Hayden Zezula

Digital art based on the loop principle has been part of the world of art for a long time. GIF-art, VINE and COUB videos became a prominent art tools, especially for the younger generation of artist, especially for millennials. 1443646039tumblr_nv9d1duIUh1qg4441o1_500 Recent studies have shown that people who live in the modern post-informational era have an attention span of approximately 8 seconds. Everyday our minds are overwhelmed with tons of visual information, so naturally we have to decide what, and how long, do we pay attention to stuff. In this sense, short looped videos are a blessing for artists. The infinite loop creates an illusion of another dimension, with no time at all; while the restrictions of the format boost creativity and give a wide space for experiments. Though human consciousness cannot yet grasp the eternity, we can produce our own, small endless realities and observe them within one click. tumblr_nr2l92cSpi1rb40pco1_12801 Hayden Zezula is a perfect example of the aforementioned principles executed with a great talent. This self-taught digital artist is combining unsettling, surreal images with a catchy format. “The focus is to blend eerie images with visually pleasing loops to keep people interested and uncomfortable at the same time,” said Zezula, who often works under a pseudonym of Zolloc. The modern eye is quite satiated and sophisticated, so there are truly not many things that can astonish audience nowadays. However, the human body, its transformations and modifications, still mesmerize and scare the viewer. In the world full of ephemeral matter, we are conscious and worried of our own physicality, and thus – of death. Hayden Zezula successfully exploited this aspect of the contemporary world and has created a series “Oswra” depicting monstrously-looking babies and their body parts moving constantly in the disturbing swirl. tumblr_nb55x4jPJR1tkwgtqo1_500 The Austin-based artist touches upon the delicate for many topic and creates half-creatures/half-ornaments that can be watched forever. These porcelain-like babies are impossible to look away from, they seem to come straight from our nightmares or some weird art-house slasher films (which are basically the same thing). tumblr_naxdkuTtMZ1tkwgtqo1_500 His other works are also experimenting with physicality and variety of the futuristic patterns and structures. Being a guilty eye-candy, the seamless loop is responsible for the alluring effect of Zolloc’s works. He explores different visual schemes and aesthetics, ranging from the minimalistic, polarized coloring and textures to the darker, almost occult motives.

tumblr_nrl3w8PaLD1qg4441o1_1280 This format also helps in experimenting with sound and photography. His recent works and collaborations show an interest in fashion and 3-D scanning technologies.


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