Nika Kupyrova, still lifes with coffee, 2018

“It’s quite interesting how people always immediately think of the content rather than the object itself when someone says I am reading this book at the moment…I have been thinking about this relation for some time now”, answered artist Nika Kupyrova when invited to realize the picture spread for all-over #14. The artist who studied painting and fine arts at the Edinburgh College of Art and the Iceland Academy of the Arts before continuing with a Masters in TransArts, a multi- and transdisciplinary course at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where she is still based today. This pluralist approach of her studies manifests in her body of work which continuously oscillates between the digital, the objective and the installative – whereas the digital sometimes may be understood as the mental and intellectual folie on which Kupyrova invents her projects without ever having them sketched out.

For all-over #14, Kupyrova developed a three-part concept that relies on the tension between the content and the object – mostly understood as the vessel or container – and on the question of the original and the copy. Both concerns are being dealt with through and within the medium of all-over as an online magazine.

As a first step Kupyrova developed a series of coffee stains which were digitalized and placed randomly throughout the entire magazine: while introducing the notion of individualized marks made by the reader the artist immerses herself into the text. These stains tend to be read as marks of possession: someone has read and owned this magazine or this container, they prove that the very object belonged to someone before. But this illusion dissolves immediately as we swipe to the next page on our digital devices.

Parallel to the coffee stains a series of photographs, placed in a more common way of a picture spread on designated pages in the issue, evokes the aesthetics of an online photo-stock platform. Stock photos are usually authenticated with digitally generated water marks that identify ownership and copyright. Developed in the early 1990ies, this type of photos originates from a time in which the issue of the original and the copy was first transferred into the digital.

In addition to the two interventions within the digital magazine, Kupyrova extended her project by taking into account all these considerations and transferring them into the realm of printed matter: To conclude the cycle, Nika Kupyrova and Boah Kim, our graphic designer, developed an altered print edition of all-over in which the digitalized got lost in translation. The object, the printed magazine, refers back to the initially introduced concerns of the artist: Now the content is hardly readable, and thus blocks the ‘reader’ from transcending the object to content and imagination. Each number in the edition – a numbered series of alleged originals by Nika Kupyrova – stands for itself as an object of desire, something to collect as manifested memory; something one once engaged with. It represents a certain nostalgia for the supposedly unique object – a concept the artist genuinely doesn’t agree with. Simultaneously these printed objects tie together the numerous implications of Kupyrova’s artistic intervention with and within all-over #14.

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