Human Project: Painting n°3

Kerim Ragimov


Painting, 60 x 90 cm.
Materials: oil on canvas

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0289).

The Human Project consists primarily of hand-painted copies made by the artist himself of a large variety of (more or less symbolically laden) group portraits taken from magazines and similarly mundane photographic material; the work’s totalizing ambition is to present a visual anthropology of twentieth-century humanity – an exemplarily humanist undertaking, one might infer. At the same time, however, Ragimov’s play with both technique and pictorial conventions strongly alludes to the history of Soviet representations of history, and to the well-known fact that no such representation can ever be innocent again. Adapting his choice of technique and means of execution to the specific traits or ‘ideological’ content of the medium through which a particular image is depicted, a scene from a Soviet-era magazine, for example, will be rendered in a fitting red glow.

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