Ivan Venkov's profile

King's Folly

Fine Arts
King's Folly

“King’s Folly” an object by Ivan Venkov

Theme – polarity

Statement – exploitation

The statement of the object is partially based on the novel of Joris-Karl Huysmans
– “À rebours”, mainly on the passage about gems encrusted tortoise.

“A Rebours defines the decadent spirit as one of simulation-that the idea of a thing is purer-and therefore more desirable-than the thing itsself. This is best illustrated in one of the most famous chapters where, after a lengthy reverie into the merits of various gemstones, Des Esseintes decides that the best way to display his favorite jewels would be to have them set into the shell of a living tortoise. The jeweler finally returns with the encrusted tortoise, which takes about two steps and dies from the immense weight of the stones. The entire decadent movement was imbibed with this sense of embellishing and improving the natural, and no single book encapsulates the decadent/symbolist aesthetic like A Rebours.”
The composition polarizes the pure natural element, which resonates in black sculpt of the deer and the golden manifestation of allegorical cabinet, which aggregates elements of mundane ravishment.

Young Deer is landing on its front legs, whilst his body is drawn up in the motion of running, the body is cut in half and in the cut, a richly ornamented golden cabinet resides.
The natural element presented in the deer does not fight the artificial parasitic presence of the golden cabinet. It’s statement is infinite quietness.  

Deer’s motion is etarnal, the body is corrupted, but the principle carries the motion endlessly.
Golden drills extract life from the living creature, providing necessary resources for the golden cabinet.
Reminiscence of a “Fabergé” egg sitting in the golden nest. Fabergé eggs are considered to be a pinnacle of luxury items, apart from rarely embedded functional elements, they are a created only for the purpose of visual appeal and sense of luxury.
Under the nest, there is a visual reminiscence of “machine” like appeal executed in chrome, that contributes to the visually artificial parasitic presence of the whole golden cabinet corpus, thus creating the image of squandering, cold machinery.

Red fluid streams from the nest to the Eggs. It is ready to be consumed like a drug, via the small entering on the top of it.
Another part of the machinery, that seems to be behind creating the mushy fluid around the golden cabinet. The entering is meant for a coin to enter. However, there is a strong presence of a sexual context, making a very human point of the whole golden cabinet machinery. The wealth and pleasure are in conjuction.

coin or sex?
From the cabinet arises a “knob” that is a chromium spiral of thirteen segments, (reference to the thirteen levels of pyramid) and a golden apple with a glass pyramid. Presence of the apple builds on traditional symbolism. The execution of pyramid in glass presents the element that is considered as most stable in a very fragile way, making it a visual oxymoron. Again, sexual connotations are inherent.
Eye of thy pyramid appears desperate, frantic and agonized. It does not sit above the pyramid, it is imprisoned inside as a slave of its own power.

There is no god, just immenseness directed towards our soul.
Golden drawer with black crystallized door dwells in the center of the composition, its content remains unknown. Coin like items are being produced in the lower section of the uncanny fluid.

Drink the life and open the drawer,

satisfy your thirst,

and see your soul scattered in the mirror of bane.
King's Folly