Hierarchy of Concealment

The digital landscape in Georg Jagunov’s Hierarchy of Concealment emerges from the darkness like a colossal creature slowly making itself seen. The work’s title refers to Arata Isozaki’s book Japan-ness In Architecture in which a holy Shinto shrine is repeatedly rebuilt through a secretive ritual process. It is inspired by two experiences in the artist’s life, in which he came into contact with resonant textures of darkness and light. He explains, “During my studies in Italy, I visited a cave in the Dolomites. After crawling through a narrow passage a group of students entered a cave. They explored it with flashlights casting chaotic rays of light on the body of the cave. Several minutes later the professor asked the students to sit down and turn off the flashlights. In the darkness and silence I could sense the time go differently. These few minutes came as a revelation to me. I could sense something ancient was moving. It was very slow and extremely powerful. Comparing to the cave we humans were just insects or a short flash of light. One day we are there, next day we are gone. It also made me think of Plato’s cave. I retained the memory of that huge womb-like structure.” Subsequently, “One evening, while standing on the rooftop helicopter pad above Mori Art museum in Tokyo I again had similar experience. I was overwhelmed by the endless ocean of light, but just as much by the darkness surrounding the points of light. This two experiences laid the base for this animation..” The artist describes the work as “a light formation against pitch black background forms an island. It evolves, extinguishes and regenerates. Morphing and mimicking the elements of military, industrial, residential and religious sites. The city growing like mycelium.” The animation was constructed from hundreds of photographic and video fragments recorded by Jagunov in Tokyo.

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