Seventeen London, UK Curated by Chloe Stavrou
Part of David Raymond Conroy’s Retail Space 27 January 2019
It’s 2019 – You may ask yourself, how did I get here? What have I created and to what effect? Am I postponing the inevitable or am I propelling myself towards it? Are we merely flesh or are we in control? How does humanity fit into an algorithm if the algorithm is capable of anything, including suicide and resurrection?
‘New Year, New You’ is a one-day exhibition with works by Adonis Archontides (Artist) and Adonis Archontides (Sim) - much like the lives of Adonis (Sim), the exhibition is short-lived. The works are three large-scale wall projections that form a new series by the artist surveilling his avatar, a digital version of the artist himself within the universe of the well-known game, The Sims 4. During Sulsul! Plerg Majah Bliff? (Hello! Can I do something else please?), Adonis (Sim) appears swimming in a small pool, eventually drowning. In Za Woka Geneva (I think you are hot), Adonis (Sim) lounges in a comfortable living space, surrounded by rugs and fireplaces until he catches fire. Ya Gotta Wob’ere! Ya Gotta Wob’ere! (Don’t give up! Keep trying!) features Adonis (Sim) relentlessly exercising towards fatal exhaustion.
As another version of Adonis (Artist), Adonis (Sim) exists in a video game, unknowingly performing actions that are impossible in the mortal realm but possible within the coded algorithm of the game. As a consequence, Adonis (Sim) has infinite lives to spare. During the final moments of each work, we are confronted with the ‘return’ of Adonis (Sim) - a nod to the nature of the simulation. The series pursues Archontides’ interest in exploring video-games as a mode of performance documentation. By documenting and questioning the creation and control over another self, the series delves within the multiverse theory. Adonis (Sim) co-exists with Adonis (Artist), they are one and the same - one however is trapped within the ultimate simulation machine, controlled by the other, his actions determined and in some cases enacting his eventual death(s).
In Archontides’ words: “I have created an avatar of myself who lives in the spaces I make, creates my art and does things that would not be possible in the real world. This is combined with research into my namesake, Adonis, an ancient Greek vegetation deity often mistaken as a god of beauty, eternally trapped in a sterile state between life and death; as per my namesake, my avatar is trapped in a virtual Sisyphean battle.”
– Exhibition text by Chloe Stavrou and Sarah St. Amand