Ferenczy Museum Centrum, Szentendre, Hungary
Anthropocentrism toxicosis. Substance and Body
25 May - 15 September 2019
His first exhibition in Hungary focuses on his Anthropocentrism Toxicosis series, which thematizes the vulnerability of humanity, the changes in the physical body and the mind. In Kawarga's view, humanity will soon disown its biological self, and separate from its physical body.

However, in addition to looking at how things human and non-human are related, and using the opposition of organic nature and geometric technology to reveal how the population changes, this special artistic project shows these changes, above all, in the crisis of anthropocentrism, which posits man as the centre and ultimate cause of the world.

Objects are presented in Plexiglas cylinders, compacted in prisms, and sometimes on their own: discarded things that have survived their own worlds, flowing over and covering a postapocalyptic wasteland. The site-specific installation offers a view into the world of a post-human vision.
Big Toxicity
250x200x110 metal, polymers, 3D printing 2019
The cycle works originate from an earlier project "Paleo-geo-Morphology".
A large series of paleo-geo-morphological cores told about the layer-by-layer development of civilization pressed into the soil. Numerous artifacts of human activity, interspersed with the bodies of the people themselves, who grew into the pictures of the material and fictional world formed by them, served as the humus body of the sculptures-cores.
A new series of sculptures and reliefs, this is a more careful and detailed reflection on the nature of the human population and its existential aspirations. Obviously, as a species of biological organisms, we are evolving, but only our consciousness is affected by changes, not the physical envelope.
This is quite natural and programmed at the very moment of vaccination extraterrestrial intelligence biological receptacle called monkey.
At the moment, we are at the end of the intermediate stage, the completion of which will be marked by an irreversible mutation of the physical body and a complete rejection of it.
The strain of reason matures in us, it is suppressing all the instincts, emotions, fears and experiences that accompany the biological body. At the same time, many concepts, such as the divine essence, spirit, fate, etc., that have been disturbing and stunning for our consciousness recently leave us. We merge into a single biological mass, into a whole human substance, a kind of thinking energy, alien to all other living things on this planet. At the same time, a human as a separate personal unit loses its importance and independence.
The front part is removed
200x150x20 polymers, polyurethane foam, 3D printing, 2019
Toxicity 8
50х50х50, polymers, 3D printing, glass, 2019
Substance and body
2018, robotic installation, 300x250x110
polymers, metal, rubber, composite reinforcement, motors, videos, mixed media
Core 18
300х100х100, polymers, 3D printing, plexiglass
Toxicity 7
220х120х30, polymers, 3D printing, 2019

Toxicity 10
90x90x7 polymers, 3D printing, glass, 2019
Anthropocentrism toxicosis
Toxicity 9 (Formula of the Revolution)

80x80x7 polymers, 3D printing, glass, 2019
Core 19
155x25x25, polymers, 3D printing, glass, 2018
Toxicity 1
85x100x35, polymers, 3D printing, 2017
Toxicity 2
50х100х10, polymers, 3D printing, 2018
Anthropocentrism toxicosis
Toxicity 3
50x100x10, polymers, 3D printing, 2018
Anthropocentrism toxicosis
Toxicity 4
90x130x25, polymers, 3D printing, 2018
Anthropocentrism toxicosis
At the very bottom there are Black Bass fish 3
100x150x5, polymers, 3D printing, metall, 2015/2019
Anthropocentrism toxicosis
At the very bottom there are Black Bass fish 2
100x150x5, polymers, metall, 2015
Anthropocentrism toxicosis
At the very bottom there are Black Bass fish 1
100x150x5, polymers, metall, 2015

Catalog. Dmitrij Kavarga: Anyag és test. Mérgező antropocentrizmus


Text by Márk Horváth – Márió Nemes Z

Irreducibly hybrid in its logic, the Anthropocene epoch can be approached in a myriad ways. The approach, however, must stem from self-criticism, or rather, a meta-criticism: it must come into the world as a result of a critical movement that deconstructs the anthropocentric ideal of the independent critic, while the process of this coming into the world coincides with an "unworlding." As a geological dividing line or event, the Anthropocene is a series of extinctions and catastrophes precipitated by the harmful forces unleashed by man, which confuse our relationship to temporality and territoriality. However, the reality of the Anthropocene is not to be discovered through a turning away from the unworlded world or the reduction of different complexities, but through an intensification, or even exaggeration, of the very logic of hybridization. Most of all, the Anthropocene denotes a geological dividing line, which was drawn roughly at the time of the industrial revolution, and in particular the invention of the steam engine. Its apocalyptic geological dividing line introduces a post-humanistic turn to thinking about the environment.

The post-anthropocentric turn of criticism is related to the – initially seemingly alienating – post-humanistic worldview, which is ultimately the rejection of centrality, thanks to the return of externalities. This is none other than a serious crisis of externalization, which Peter Sloterdijk described as a key phenomenon of the Anthropocene. [1] The crisis of externalization, however, is also the possibility of toxicity. By affirming toxicity, speculative artistic praxis may become capable of subverting the advent of the unthinkable, i.e. the crisis of externalization. This is none other than the possibility of an unrestrainably creative post-anthropocentric, or even non-human, art, which demonstrates the worldlessness of the dark ecology through toxicity.

The disanthropomorphized landscapes of Russian-Ukrainian artist Dmitry Kawarga sink in the xeno-time of toxicity in their posthuman bleakness. Technological remains, cables and bone-like growths, digital cemeteries and materialized necromedial expansions reign in these unworlded creations. In the series called Toxicity, neon-coloured tendrils appear among the deterritorialized, crumbling geological formations, cavities and startling ravines, making for an eerie posthuman plasticity. Kawarga's works are engaging because his relentless, toxic, disanthropomorphizing artistic praxis attacks from multiple directions. On the one hand, he performs the irreducible synthetic coupling wherein the gothic tradition of horrific territoriality meets with the xeno-temporality of extinction, while almost incomprehensible, futuristic technological networks and combinations of materials are presented. In the global crisis of externalization, toxicity can no longer be considered a negative phenomenon, or an element of reality that can be resolved or outsourced. The return of externalization is essentially inseparable from the crisis of modern, development-oriented linear thinking.

Through toxic disanthropomorphization, Kawarga performs the complete outsourcing of anthropocentrism from the complex systems of networks. Human media are present in his uncanny works as geological traces, impressions or residues. These works are informed by a hauntology of man's disappearance, the ominous memento of the relentless anthropocentrism of modernity. It would nevertheless be too simple to effect this non-human turn through a staging of future technologies and the ecological catastrophe of the Anthropocene. Kawarga knows full well complexity cannot be fixed, or reduced, and cannot, above all, be limited to anthropomorphic forms or anthropocentric patterns of thought. The elimination of man from these complex, quasi-mythic views of horror does not reduce the complexity and the intricacy of the logic of hybridization—but in fact increases it.

Kawarga's works confront us with not only a material chaos but a quasi-temporal hyperchaos as well, a temporality that unsettlingly predates the existence of every sentient being, or the appearance of the Homo sapiens. But these toxic landscapes also show the deterritorializing movement of a returning externalization that crushes the planet. Kawarga's works can also be taken for distinctive rematerializations of the cyberculture of postmaterial digitality. While they evoke extinction, the deadly threat of the dark ecology of the Anthropocene, his works would be inconceivable without the post-humanistic plasticity of digital art and virtuality. With a distinctive rematerializations of the fractalized xeno-time of digitality, Kawarga allows us to see the geological impressions and relics of a future not yet arrived.

Kawarga's speculative aesthetic praxis is a georeflective, chthonic outflow, as well as a certain necro-archive of the hyperchaos. It is a speculative archive, because it is for a presumed non-human gaze that it opens and structures the unstructurable hyperactivity, the toxic precipitation that has remained, "ground and layered," of death-bound human and non-human technoculture. The post-human artist works as a "mad gardener," or (de)constructor, to create a post-anthropocentric Passagen-Werk, the mausoleum of a species erased into anonymity, which irrevocably voided its own lifeworld and technoculture, leaving nothing but the flow of alien substance and the haunting of spectres. When it comes to revealing and presenting the toxic phantom-culture, the concept of the technosphere seems impossible not to use, because after Peter Haff, we can say the rubbish-world of the Anthropocene, cyberculture and the overheating geo-compost, becomes part of the apocalyptic planetary system as a technosphere. [2] In other words, Kawarga's post-human artistic praxis is aimed at the technosphere, but not simply in accordance with the human logic of representation or systems of mimesis, which would posit the human creator as the "shaper" of, and place him hierarchically above, the "material" to be worked upon. Toxicity is not simply an "image" of the technosphere because the post-digital materials themselves are "Anthropocene rubbish" that serves the ongoing proliferation of the technosphere. The post-human aesthetic connects the toxic abundance of the technosphere with the presentation of formlessness as an event, which is to say there are only unnecessary elements in Kawarga's dehierarchized and decentred anti-structures.

Post-human art is a de-productive process because the aesthetic presentation of toxic abundance turns even extinction into production, which can be understood as the fabrication of spectres. In other words, Kawarga's speculative thought creates the living dead and "archive-desecrating" anti-archive of the technosphere, its "anarchive." [3] The traces of the human world are arranged as a post-digital and toxic techno-fossil in the anarchive of the ecological catastrophe, which also involves the destruction – or rather, phantomization – of the medium of the memento. Which is to say the post-digital materiality of Kawarga's works is a kind of phantom materiality, the paradoxical incarnation of absence in a zombified necro-medium. The mutual impact of archivation and anarchivation only exacerbates the crisis of externality, the growing heat of the compost, because Kawarga's technosphere can no longer be traced back to a human origin. Kawarga's junk-space is permeated by this posthuman warping because it is impossible to tell "whose" junk became the source of the post-digital materiality, or what "world" it comes from. This world is not our world, because "we" can no longer find a world. What is more, the world may never have been ours, just as we were never modern and human, to paraphrase Bruno Latour. Because we were already always others and belonged to others.

[1] Peter Sloterdijk: What Happened in the 20th Centrury? Cambridge, UK and Medford, MA: Polity Press, 2018, 10–11.

[2] Jeremias Herberg, Gregor Schmieg: "Ein technoökologischer Habitus? – Die Sozialmorphologie im Model der Technosphäre" (2018). In: Laux, Henning – Henkel, Anna (eds.): Die Erde, der Mensch und das Soziale: Zur Transformation gesellschaftlicher Naturverhältnisse im Anthropozän. Transcript Verlag, 2018, 163–164.

[3] Jacques Derrida: Archive Fever – A Freudian Impression, University of Chicago Press, 1998, 79.

Ferenczy Museum Centrum
Art Capital 2019

Ferenczy Museum Centrum
Art Capital 2019
Presented by ArtCapital 2019, Dmitry Kawarga's display in the ArtMill is the Russian artist's first solo exhibition in Hungary. Its central part is his Anthropocentrism Toxicosis series, which reflects on the vulnerability of humanity, the changes in the physical body and the mind.
For this exhibition, new pieces have been added to the series, which does not simply explore how things human and non-human are related, and does not use the binary opposition of nature (organic forms) and technology (geometric forms) to reveal how the population changes: its chief interest is in showing these changes in the crisis of anthropocentrism, which posits man as the centre and ultimate cause of the world.

Presented in Plexiglas cylinders, compacted in boxes, and sometimes on their own, the parts, fragments and artefacts of human activity—together with the heads, human bodies and embryos, cellular matter, cogwheels and sculpture fragments, tendrils and wires that are reminiscent of umbilical chords, now form bun­dles and knots, and now straight, fragile sticks. A "river" bursting from the openings of white or black matter and comprising human bodies that cling together disappears in the postapoca­lyptic, post-human wasteland, or ludicrously small, toy soldier-like figures and plastic animals sink in the bog. The exhibition "Substance and Body. Anthropocentrism Toxicosis" is a journey into the world of a post-apocalyptic vision, to a state where the decay of the physical body is irreversible. This journey is depressing in that it reveals unfamiliar situations—and the relics of the future, the shapes of the post-human epoch doubtlessly belong to a sphere that cannot be fully comprehended, one of existential weightlessness.

Kavarga began his career as a painter, and now his wife, Elena Kawarga actively contrib­utes to the works. The flat surfaces gained more and more pronounced facture, and became ever more monumental; forms started to emerge in the manner of reliefs, and finally turned into sculptures in the round. What the Moscow-based artist does is called Science Art, because in addition to the sculptures and reliefs that are as monumental as they are elaborate, and are made from polymers and occasionally 3D printing, he also produces kinetic and interactive in­stallations, complete with film and audio. His work synthesises science, art and technology, and he often involves engineers and programmers in the creative process. His style has been var­iously described as "biomorphism" or "biogenic art," while his insistence on the end of anthro­pocentrism has caused others to call him a practitioner of "post-human" art.

The artist rejects such classifications because more than anything, the technology and the diagnostic tools help him to address philosophical and existential questions.' Rather than reflecting on technology, Kawarga focuses on the processes of the Anthropocene epoch.

The works on view at ArtMill are not mere visions, but attempts to model processes, the main intention being to make the correlations between the body, matter and psychosis visible.

Kawarga considers his own works models of the consciousness, "embodiments of the slivers of perception" and regards even the transition to kinetic installations and interactive sculptural works as part and parcel of an uninterruptible abstract creative process. To this end, he not only uses waste materials but also modifies his own creations, turns them into raw materials for other pieces: after an exhibition, the parts of a disassembled work may be resurrected in a new work or works. The materials and techniques used are meaningful in themselves, because plas­tic and rubber are the result of synthetic processes—like thinking. Using polymers also means that, rather than resisting change, the material embodies the very idea of change: no longer with materials, and in processes, that are natural and organic, but in the human-controlled cre­ative mechanism of the Anthropocene epoch. Difficult to localize and date, the moments of the process, the transformation, thus coalesce to form assemblages: the ceaseless metamorphosis, the rolling river, is not only the chief organizing formal element, but also defines the mode of creation.

Anthropocentrism Toxicosis is a follow-up to an earlier series, Paleo-geo-morphology. The cores are the visual representations of how the material world unfolds.

"Front Part Removed" shows a flattened body that resembles a naked infant, from whose stomach and head a mul­titude of human bodies flows out. "Toxicity 8" is dominated by the winding tendrils, and the ge­ometric "structure" that is highlighted with neon yellow is part of this mass, whose bundles, which resemble umbilical chords, connect with the navels or heads of foetal bodies. The neon yellow, biomorphic forms that flow out of animals or animal remains, and reach the ground in "Toxicity 7" recurring elements in the Anthropocentrism Toxicosis series—remind one of a dark matter, a landscape after humanity. The structures of these process models always have points of culmination, where the forms touch and coalesce. This is exactly the source of mysterious­ness: the represented process is not placed between end points, does not have a beginning or an end. The process is consequently cyclical, and not linear, which would be typical of human cognition. The earlier pieces of this series (Toxicity 1-4), have white bases, instead of the grey and black recently employed: all three are "non-colours", the colours of posthumanity, of the cosmic world. The human bodies that erupt in a mass from the openings are small in compari­son to the surrounding forms, which suggests they are parts of a cosmic world, and the desig­nated viewpoint is not human. In Kawarga, the biomorphic forms are only reminiscent of living things; they are the attributes not of the human population, but of the physical world humans created.

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