Dundee based art project inspired by Putin meme goes on display

A University of Dundee PhD student has helped to develop an exhibition all about internet memes.

Alejandro Ball is part of PILproject, an artist group that explores the artistic properties of .gif and meme formats. Their exhibition, 'PILproject 2.0: Russia. Be blinded by an inner light', is taking place at the Centrespace Gallery this week.

The team became fascinated by the ‘Putin Rides’ meme, which created a political uproar in Russia back in 2015. This was a selection of memes that used a photo of the Russian President riding a horse which was then super imposed into other pictures. The group travelled to Russia to investigate the politics of Russia and the country’s relationship with the internet.

There they met artists Rostan Tavasiev and Ksenia Pilsova, who they have now invited to collaborate on the exhibition. They have created works that will inhabit the PILproject webpage, and gallery. Each artist will initiate a different performative element of internet meme culture from the perspective of their locality, with Tavasiev’s efforts culminating in an interactive social media performance, hosted on Facebook.

Alejandro said, “This exhibition will serve to present our research findings and will examine the effects of control and surveillance, and the dystopia of internet freedom.

“The Putin Rides meme pushed us to investigate the politics of Russia and the internet further, and how the implementation of the country’s recent internet content law had affected artists operating on the net.”

The exhibition will run until Saturday, 29th October. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 12-4.30pm.

Centrespace Gallery is part of Duncan of Jordanstone’s Visual Research Centre, which is located on the lower levels of Dundee Contemporary Arts. 

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