Player Character : Jon Rafman

28 February - 23 May 2024 Off-site
“I’m interested in this age-old question of what it is to be human and what it is to experience the world. And I think technology has always reflected how we experience the world, who we are as individuals, and how we relate to ourselves, each other and the past.”–Jon Rafman
A visionary interpreter of the troubled human mind, of the streams of consciousness and the anxieties of the present, JonRafman explores the all-encompassing impact of the virtual within the representation of our time. Through an immense vocabularydrawing from internet, virtu- al worlds, video games and devious areas of the web, Rafman creates surreal and absolute landscapes inwhich he nourishes a constant sense of loss and alienation, of resurrection and death, of instinct and memo- ry, of extreme sacrificeand rebirth. In a world oppressed by obsession, paranoia, a sense of emptiness and loss, the artist leads us into the most concealed realms of the web, among the gooiest drives that replace reality and at the same time embody it.
Within an absorbing architecture created by the BB studio (Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava) which distorts the coordinates of the room and creates a claustrophobic and befuddling environment, Rafman presents Player Character, the maincharacter of a video game, who lives in a virtual world, where violence, abyss, transformation and rebirth fuel a game with no rules,no memory and without a future.
Here, video works, films, images and sounds processed by ar- tificial intelligence are interwoven into a totalizing experience that takes the viewer through Rafman’s production of the past twenty years. Two sinuous walls divide the environments inhabited by characters from the artist’s new video game, SS Laguna (prologue) (2024), premiered in Italy for this occasion. New video stations present the series of Egregores I, II, III, IV, the latter made entirely through artificial intelligence and created on the occasion of the exhibition, in a short circuit between the sacred and the profane. The term “egregore” coined in the field of occultism, defines amental field, a thought-form that manifests as an emanation of a large group of people sharing a common cultural context. Rafman, once again, speaks of the collective self, through an infinite archive of images that seem to be generated from one another. WithinRafman Cin- ema the artist also presents the filmography from the last twenty years (2004–2024), from the initial works of Advice for a Prophet (2004) or City Girls (2005) to his most iconic films including Dream Journal (2016-2019), Minor Daemon (2021), PuncturedSky (2021), programmed in cycles. Also, Nine Eyes (2008-) scrolls the endling atlas of images captured by Google Street View over the years: single moments locked in the flow of events through the neutral but merciless eye of technology. Finally, Rafman’s new album, Musique Pour le Chevalier Aux Fleurs (Classic) (2024) interprets new sounds through algorithms linked to the artist’s most cherishedmusic. Accompanying the exhibition is a new production of sweatshirts made on demand in a limited edition, and the promo of theflipbook Player Character (2024), also on demand.
The show is curated and produced by CURA.
The exhibition architecture is designed by BB.
Venue: Basement Roma
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Installation Views