Distant Relatives, 2019
part of Statens Kunstutstilling Høstutstillingen
Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
comissioned oil painting,3d printed frame, sound

Distant Relatives explores precarious familial connections, impacts of processes of disruption and relocation and our connection to self in the digital age through a deep artistic investigation into a family icon: the Leonardo da Vinci painting The Benois Madonna that hangs at the Hermitage and belonging to a distant relative prior to the Russian revolution.
 

Here links are developed via the internet to family and heritage, here the process of internet browsing and shopping becomes a method of contemplation.
The work includes a collaboration with Troll Labs at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in order to 3D print the opulent frame of the painting (designed by an ancestor in the 19th century) using only low quality tourist photos available online. The result is melting, blurry, the internet come-to-life, its details obscured by past and proximity.

 

The project received official approval from the State Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg, Russia, although this approval was not requested. It has been shown as part of Statens Kunstutstilling Høstutstillingen 2019.

photos: Vegard Kleven for Høstutstillingen/NBK

©2020 Anton Benois