"respawn, exactly, if not you then who"
Aleksei Taruts

December 2016

"Respawn" is a gaming term used to describe the action of a human player, bot or item repeatedly coming back to life and re-entering the game after being killed or destroy. In the context of works displayed by the artist, the title "respawn, exactly, if not you, then who" implies a rhetorical question or rather a magic incantation, addressed to the visitors, when their seeming freedom of self-expression turns out to be a result of an effective infrastructure of management. In his series of works "respawn, exactly, if not you then who" Taruts presents shows the exhibition space, which in a mysterious way or as a result of poor organization is disappointing its visitors.

Aleksei Taruts: «Respawn, exactly, if not you then who» consists of two corresponding locations. Firstly, the minute long promo video for the show is embedded at the gallery website and secondly there are four mixed media color prints in the gallery itself. The video was also shot in the gallery during its renovation. In this project I am using the two levels of communication to emphasise the instability of today's omnipresent cyber space, in which virtual and physical topography are inseparable. The sequence of prints in the gallery can be interpreted as a graphic novel, that tells the story of exhibition visitors being bored, alienated and reterritorialized within the exhibition space.

The project is intended for small and cute places like ISSMAG (a white space inserted into a former car garage), where people can get trapped and have nothing else to do but to gaze at the «office interior art» on the wall and not feel the freedom of movement, except the right to exit. At the opening we played the «Alien» OST very loud to create the environment of a fictitious suspense