A greatly enlarged human finger is becoming a central image of the latest ESCAPE Program projects. It’s not accidental: presently, image of a finger gains a remarkably symbolic meaning.
Finger has an absolute uniqueness due to peculiar capillary pattern. This particular quality, on the other hand, allows authorities to control an individual by using modern advanced technologies for well-known fingerprinting procedure. Thus finger is becoming a metaphor of personal freedom and originality and also a symbol of control and repression.
We should not forget that modern person is communicating with the world by means of fingers. They help us in using computer or mobile phone. Meanwhile, human need in technology leads to dependence and so it is becoming a kind of religious cult. Therefore we believe that a man-caused dictatorship is a major threat to personal being, constraining already small space of human freedom in the world.
In the new work by ESCAPE Program, a naked person covering himself by a palette (apparently an artist) is depicted on a finger-cushion. Simultaneously he salutes someone invisible. This image is partly evoked by latest events of the modern Russian art, where struggle for proximity to power is toughening.
The “I Have the Honor!” Project continues a series of social-political projects (“XI.IX”, 2002; “An Artist Perished Under His Painting as a Result of Explosion on the Eve of the Opening Day”, 2004; “Attension”, 2004; “Blindness”, 2004) calling upon an artistic community and, even broader, upon Russian intellectuals to be more responsible for their statements and actions.
A deliberate choice of technique for this project confronts two opposite representation types. Light box is a typical kind of bourgeois “cold” presentation, while the drawing is made by hand and, being originally small, does not allow artists to hide behind technique and skill.