Lyrics: Bondage Fairies - He-Man
My name’s Adora, I’m He-Man’s twin sister and protector of the Crystal Palace. This is Spirit, my assistant. My main secret is that when I pull out the magic sword and say, “By the power of the grey skull!”, I turn into She-ra! Very few know this secret, among them are Light Hope, Madame Razz, and Kowl.
An introduction to the animated movie series “The Unconquerable Princess She-Ra”
This exhibition is about shape and colour, about shape in its biological aspect of self-reproduction, about the flexibility of the animated movies which filled my childhood and which, in fact, shaped my visual taste to a great extent. It’s an exhibition of the cheap horror movies with shapeless monsters, extraterrestrial insects, crystals growing by the second for centuries, the snake which lives in the terrarium in my house, the Discovery Channel, gif images, white slime, sparkles, smooth skinned dolphins, and, of course, of the unconquerable Princess She-Ra.
It’s hard for me to explain in words - this is precisely the physical feeling, a mix of images and movement, which changes every minute, the precious feeling of the last year. I can write a separate article about each of the things that interest me but there’s no time and energy to do that now. Therefore, I’ll try to explain on the example of animated movies. Strangely enough, the interest toward them emerged as a result of studying mythological systems.
The flexibility of monsters and heroes in the animated series is based on the archaic canons of the mythological images. Practically every series about robot-transformers, lost kingdoms or magic swords creates its own pantheons to heroes and villains whose features amazingly resemble gods and demons. The canons of ritual images migrated. Transformers, for example, obviously have their beginning in the Hindu gods.
The world is full of absurd characters who can, just like the tricksters, alter their physical characteristics while remaining the same. The world of the animated movies is based not on matter but on the hero’s will with which he can alter, “melt” his own body and the laws of the world around him. The world of the animated movie where the flexible “silicon” hero loses his original shape after a fall or a hit but then regains it, can grow new limbs, can increase and decrease his size. There’s no death, there’s only an endless flowing of matter. The characters’ movements are fluid, dance-like, “flowing”, similar to the way snakes move, to the tentacles of an octopus, to the way water spills over some surface. The colours are bright, unrealistic, these are the colors of tropical birds, poisonous insects, cheap toys made of toxic waste. Such pulsating hues are rarely seen in nature.
In this exhibition, I turned to shape, and it directed me. I wasn’t picturing the end result, it was constantly changing. Various textures unexpectedly connected in different combinations: cloth, jam, nail polish, hair, bones, glue, artificial fur. Moreover, if I turned to old materials in the past, now I was interested in new ones.