“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
In Clusters* project we took the famous Tower of Babel story as the starting point for individual interpretation. The use of common language is very important in the story – meaning unity among the race of the people in order to achieve a common goal. We both tried to find metaphorical connections of the biblical story to the modern culture. The project consists of two elements: Ruta’s still life compositions, talking about personal history of each of us, which is reflected partly through objects we own. A lot of our personal belongings are mass-produced items. It is one of the ways showing that our world is becoming more and more globalized.
The starting point of the second element is the prediction made in 1925 by Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove- Kalergi in his Practical Idealism: “The man of the future will be of mixed race. […] The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.”
For this element Urte tries to imagine a fictional “race of the future” in her video piece by morphing her own image with the images of people from all around the world found on the Internet.
Ruta Pu.(1989) and Urte Janus(1990) are artists from Lithuania, currently based in London. Both graduated as photographers in Middlesex University. They usually work separately on the same subject and then try to merge two different perspectives into one body of work. The main subjects explored are the history, myth, legend, ritual and the self in the full of information and disinformation contemporary world. They are interested in how the myth may have worked itself into modern discourses and the role media and technology acts in this process. Also, how the history and mythology reflects itself in everyday objects people surround themselves with and the meanings they carry depending on the context.
*Cluster is a number of things of the same kind, growing or held together.