MESOZOIC. Let’s start over!
The installation is the 4th collaboration between Ellen Nash and Georgii Uvs with the distinctive feature of the search for truth, the study of the existence, always with a philosophical beginning.
Ellen Nash was born in Armenia, grew up in Russia, studied in the United States and completed a Master's degree in History of Art. She has lived and worked all over the world, which has brought her to present and explore each project as a reflection of the reality analysed through the history of art and all the different cultures.
In 2021, London-based abstract artist Georgii Uvs and international curator Ellen Nash prepared a large-scale series of paintings called Circle 9 for the exhibition Personal Structures in Venice 2022.
Uvs and Nash admit that they never specifically come up with themes for the works and projects. Information and inspiration usually come to Uvs and burn him until he splashes it onto the canvas. Uvs calls himself a “conductor who is obliged to convey information to humanity through his artistic skill”. Nash, instead, is the one who translates and converts it into a concept.
According to Dante Alighieri, the 9th circle is the centre of hell where traitors are thrown into. This is how Uvs felt in 2021. People betrayed their home, the planet which nurtured and gave life to our civilization and so, similarly, we are living like the betrayers in hell. We have endangered many species of plants and animals, we have caused environmental pollution, climate change and wars in different parts of the world. Covid has brought us self-isolation, depression and fear of the future.
A few weeks before sending the artworks to Venice, Ellen Nash rewrote and developed a radically different concept for the project in Venice. Artist and Curator decided to change their point of view and follow the advice of the curator of the main project of the 59th Venice Art Biennale.
Cecilia Alemani in her letter to the artists asked them to strive for optimism and celebrate art and its ability to create alternative cosmologies and new conditions of existence.
Mesozoic #6 UV
Rethinking the Mesozoic in 2022
This is what led to “MESOZOIC. Let's start over!”, an art project including four artworks of Georgii Uvs created between 2016 and 2017. This series is filled with bright layers of colour on the canvas, creating a continuous colour line reminiscent of Mesozoic landscapes. The relevance of the Mesozoic stems from the fact that it is an era of tectonic, climatic and evolutionary activity. During that period, the formation of the main contours of modern continents and mountain building on the periphery of the oceans took place, and by the end of the Mesozoic era, the main part of the species diversity of life approached its modern state.
We live in a very difficult historical time but Uvs and Nash think that while we are alive and all is not lost, we can turn the page and start all over again. This applies to all areas of our life. We can start building a new world - our reality is born first in our heads, so let's pretend we are in the Mesozoic era and let’s start over.
Uvs’ activity is metaphysics, a battlefield where the answers to the questions of human existence go beyond all conceivable experiences and forms. The artist never knows what awaits him at the end of this transcendental experience, and he does so by working alone and giving himself completely to the question. While he keeps the technique of applying paints on his canvas a secret, Uvs explains how he uses an ultraviolet pigment to produce a sucking effect on the depth of his work when put under UV light. As a result, his artworks are two-faced. Like in nature, they have sunset and sunrise, day and night. Sometimes what the artist hides under ordinary lighting to protect his viewer, comes to life under the UV light.
Mesozoic Installation at Palazzo Bembo | Photo credits: Clelia Cadamuro
In addition, Uvs’ art is like a crown of thorns that can scratch very painfully but then compensates when the artist exposes his soul through the colours, and that is why they are revealed to him with such sincerity. Therefore, the colours that Uvs uses certainly matter - they do not give the opportunity to understand ambiguously. The colours that the artist uses in the series Mesozoic are bright, pure, and cheerful, such as green which personalises life, health, and wisdom; whereas yellow and orange are the colours of the sun, the source of life on earth.
Curator Ellen Nash and artist Georgii Uvs filled their project ‘MESOZOIC. Let's start over!’ with hope for a better future and they say: “While we still have a chance, let's start over!”.
You can visit the installation at Palazzo Bembo until the 27th of November or discover their work by exploring the virtual tours online. Discover more about artist Georgii Uvs and Ellen Nash on their website.