At the end of the world, if all of our waste, memories, and collective knowledge were to be resurrected into living masses, it would look something like this. In an exhibition of metaphorical power and desolate beauty, artist Philip Ob Rey (in collaboration with Louie Otesanek, who inspired the movement, and photographer Mailie Viney) brings us V, an installation/photography project currently on display at the Cell63 in Berlin. Featured in V are black-and-white photographs of faceless, monolithic giants plodding aimlessly through an apocalyptic wilderness, here represented by the vast and darkly beautiful horizons of Iceland. Made of tangled VHS rolls — along with natural artifacts (feathers, stones, shells, and dry seaweeds) Ob Rey found amidst the fjords and active geothermal areas of Iceland — the bodies of the mysterious, god-like beings rip and tear in the wind. Elsewhere, eerie cocooned beings sit in silent, candle-lit caves encroached by snow, emanating a sense of wisdom and despair.
For Ob Rey, the giants manifest the five essential elements in a post-apocalyptic context, as well as the voices of lost generations trapped within the magnetic rolls. With their withering, film-wrapped bodies and their ancient-yet-futuristic appearances, the giants stand as mute omens that warn against current cultural and environmental trends. “They are covered with a black toxic skin, [a] chaotic flesh of magnetic encoded images,” Ob Rey explains. “I built in 5 essential elements, creatures made of VHS, dreamlike and disfigured in reaction against the growing dictatorship of the mass media and the unstoppable plastic pollution due to the overconsumption of the new technologies.”
At once cautionary and retrospective, Ob Rey’s V provides a beautiful, neutral medium in which to envision the earth pre- and post-human life. As temporally indistinct visions, the summoned giants allow us to emotionally explore the idea of our own end, when one day our bodily traces linger as non-recyclable materials floating around on the earth’s desolate surface. If you are in Berlin, V is showing until May 8th. You can see more of Ob Rey’s work on his Facebook page and website, where he works under the title “Humantropy” (a word referring to the nature of universal chaos and the decline of humankind). More stunning shots from V after the jump. (Via beautiful.bizarre)