30 January 2015

Troika and Dark Matter: Three-in-One

Troika is an artist trio based in London: Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, and Sebastian Noel.

“We are three people with different sensitivities…The question becomes how do you synthesize that? How do you grow bigger than the individual?” asks Sebastian.

When they worked on a piece, Conny observes, “…the dialogue became almost as important as the physical outcome.”

Sebastian agrees: “…this idea of collaborating together, the collective, is very important…it’s a way of working out in the process the idea we are exploring.”

So, what is the idea to which he refers? In the video below they explain a work featured in June 2014 at Art Basel, a modern art gallery in Switzerland. The piece is called Dark Matter. A word of explanation:

If you were told to make a square circle you would likely say, “You’re off your rocker! You can’t make a square circle. A square can only be a square and a circle can only be a circle.”

Well, Troika shows how these two shapes can truly be one. In fact, they go one further. In Dark Matter, Troika expresses three shapes in one form.

The key is perception. As you change your viewing stance, the square becomes a circle and the circle becomes a hexagon.

So what is Dark Matter: a circle, a square or a hexagon? It is all of these and none of these all at once. It is three-in-one.  

For Troika, the embodiment of three distinct shapes in a unified form signifies more than a clever way to trick your eyes. It is a statement about reconciling contradictions through a “greater order.” Here are some excerpts* from their exposition of the work.

“People reveal truth through science…people reveal truth through faith…they are put in polar opposites all the time…Is there a possible synthesis between those things? Can you be religious and rational? Can you [do] art in a logical manner? Can science be subjective?”

“Instead of trying to put things in a box, which is like the premise of modernism…or postmodernism that accepts everything, we are trying to reconnect those two and try to see if there is not something higher than that, a greater order that would synthesize those things?”

Some might call it an artistic representation of post-postmodernism. At PlayFull we can’t help but call their process play, an expression of unified distinction.

View the video. It’s fascinating to see how they reconcile three contradictions.

* In transcribing Troika’s comments, I took the liberty of tweaking the phrasing in small ways so as to make their comments more readable, while trying to maintain the chief sense of their statements.

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