Aleksei Taruts (b. 1984) is a russian-born transmedia artist whose practice includes performative and situational projects along with mixed media installations. He primarily works with the concept of “event” as a unit of symbolic exchange. The artist interprets the modes of presence and distance, formed by the affects of culture production under late capitalism, in relation to the event. Taruts is also interested in manifestations of the irrational caused by technologies of immediate representation and dispersion of attention, as well as the type of memory produced by unstable connections.
Taruts’ key works include a solo exhibition “Ultramute of the twelve tongues” at the szena gallery (Moscow, 2019). the project centered around a cast-iron fragment of Moscow’s triumphal arch and reflected on the phantom existence of monuments and the mediation of historical events in conditions of attention deficiency and hypercommunication.
The “Laurussia NRG” project (2020) made it to the final round of the “Turbulentnost” contest hosted by Moscow’s cultural creative agency and was presented at the Cosmoscow 2020 Art Fair. The name of the work refers to an alleged paleocontinent, whose reconstructed outlines were presented in the form of an inflatable branded pool. An important part of the project was the documentation of performative “Charging” of water with a chant, “So it was, so it is, and it will always be,” which acquired a whole new meaning during the pandemic crisis.
In the spring of 2021, with the support of tipografia center for contemporary art, taruts created a performative site-specific work “Golden hits”, raising the issues of compulsive communication and obsession with ghosts and based on a smartphone voice recording performed in a somnambulistic state. The ruin of an unfinished castle-like building in Krasnodar’s victory park played the part of a ghost, and its smaller version became an exhibit at a cat show.
As a part of the Garage. Digital program in 2020 and 2021, the artist created the project “All dungeons will fall”, in which the mutual influence of technologies for instant communication and the production of irrational, historical, and accidentally gained knowledge is reflected upon on the example of gamified alleged remains of Noah’s Ark, discovered in a Russian province in 2017.
In november 2021, at the invitation of the St. Petersburg branch of the national center for contemporary art, a solo exhibition “You are not the only one cursed with knowledge, you are not the only one cursed with knowledge” opened in the gothic hall of the stieglitz academy. The performative exposition evolved around the phenomenon of memory as an obsessive industrial medium for which distortion is an inevitable novelty event offering access to the supernatural.