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Posted 10.12.15

Review: Lament Of Ur – Joey Holder & Viktor Timofeev at KARST

By Andy Cluer

“The complexity of their differences called to question the current assumption that they evolved from a similar point of origin. There was suspicion that something else was at work, which involved a highly specialized and self-assembled alchemy.”

'Lament of Ur' by Joey Holder and Viktor Timofeev – showing 18 Nov–12 Dec at KARST //

BA (Hons) Fine Art grad Andy Cluer reviews:

Enter the world of Joey Holder and Viktor Timofeev, a dark, uneasy destination of futuristic foreign utopian/dystopian abstract substances that cease to distract from our reality.

For those unfamiliar with their works, Holder’s practice explores the elements of biological science, nanotechnology and natural historical features, juxtaposed against the fields of digital interfaces and measuring devices.

Holder, a multimedia contemporary artist based in England, explores how they develop as one and set in constellation with the tissues that draw them together.

Latvian-born Timofeev’s work, meanwhile, challenges fictional worlds and investigates the ideas of utopia/dystopia features – seeing him create blueprints of another world detailing out a heavily researched based practice.

For this exhibition at Plymouth contemporary arts space KARST, Holder and Timofeev are brought together for their first collaborative exhibition of their worlds that sees the usual white cube set-up of the Millbay-based gallery completely torn apart: a dystopian environment is built over the usually clean gallery space.

As you enter the expanse, you are enticed by a sculptural object that sets to watch over the audience through the eye of a reptile. This exotic cage is held empty of any living organism, leaving viewers apprehensive of what is to come in their world.

"It is easy to see why there is currently so much excitement around these artists... this is a must-see show."  — Andy Cluer

Holder’s physically built object is then immediately juxtaposed with Timofeev’s digital world, brought alive through an abstract utopian game. 

Controlled by the audience, you are engaged to explore this other worldly environment in Timofeev’s game installation; viewers escape from the already made physical space of the exhibition into an infinite digital scope, which begins as a place of haven but ends within a dystopian surrounding.   

The atmosphere of the show almost caves in from the walls, of which one side is barricaded by industrial fencing, creating a sense of urban territory that reflects a steampunk culture.

Sat behind the fenced object lies a heap of ready made soil, representing a ‘natural’ place barricaded firmly in its past.

"... a dark, uneasy destination of futuristic foreign utopian/dystopian abstract substances." — Andy Cluer

In contrast to this industrial element is a digital print, which is pasted across the scale of the walls.

This identifies Holder’s vision of a post apocalyptic utopian/dystopian future, which has an amazonian mayan calendar visual presence – disturbing the viewership of the audience due to its recent prediction of 2012s, the end of the world.

Holder and Timofeev’s collaborative effort sees a past utopian vision of the future fabricated by elements of their own predictions of what is to come, clenched within a digitalised era.

The exhibition encompasses sculpture, computerised games, prints, video, ‘natural’ and industrial objects constructing the characteristics of the space.

While this exhibition lacks the intense effects of Timofeev’s usual tidy drawing style, instead being replaced by a rough and ready paint job, ‘Lament of Ur’ sets out to execute a world post-apocalypse.

"The exhibition encompasses sculpture, computerised games, prints, video, ‘natural’ and industrial objects." — Andy Cluer

The show investigates the themes of Holder and Timofeev’s research practice through the ever-growing popular digital based art, and combines this with natural everyday objects that we are ever so familiar with.

Embedded in today's culture that holds so much fear through terrorism, this show plays an important part to capture our thoughts of what the future has to offer.

With so much hype through games like Interplay Entertainment’s Fallout Series, it is easy to see why there is currently so much excitement around these artists; leaving me with nothing more to say than this is a must-see show.

Reviewed by Andy Cluer, BA (Hons) Fine Art grad. See his work at

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