Milan Loviška & Otto Krause
Artist Statement
In Furrious the artists Otto Krause and Milan Loviška employ the artistic processes of furrification and plushification. In reference to the practice of fursuiting in faux fur and plush undertaken by members of a subculture called the Furry Fandom, they constitute their own disarming aesthetic plushyverse of everything childish. Endowing spatial and material entities with features that evoke certain squeezability and a large dose of innocence they play with the boundaries of human and creature in a notably artificial and abstract way. Amidst the current political climate that tends to trivialize serious matters with simplified and alternative political messages they also point to the reduction of psychological defence mechanisms and the increase of susceptibility when exposed to cuteness. Their hybrid plushophilia is as much a subversive act of creative involution as it is a reminder of the seductive power of cute imagery in the ever-frightening political propaganda. During the residency at Blitz in Valletta the artists descended with their hybrid plushophilia into one of the last resorts left where one can truly be offline. Exploring the potential of scuba diving as artistic practice, the two artists performed underwater and filmed their furrious interactions with the cute plushiness of marine flora and fauna.
The visual aspect of the project finds its roots in the media of comics and animated films, both in America and in Japan, playing with the boundaries of the contemporary western aesthetic category of cute and the Japanese concept of kawaii. The project relates the most to the #JapanRevisited202x: now, in a way of understanding and experiencing Japan from afar. ..Japan as a fantasy land, inspiration, future destination...
Artist Bio
Milan Loviška and Otto Krause are transdisciplinary artists working in the visual arts and the performing arts context. In their artistic practice, which is deeply rooted in both research and experiment, they explore the potential of performative formats, media, materials, and new technologies to question established modes of perception and to stimulate uncanny perspectives on the relationship between audience and performer. They work intensely with unconventional methods and strategies and are inspired by cross-disciplinary research processes. Between aesthetic opulence and reduction arise physically intense, atmospheric-imaginative works conceptually combining the aspects of popular culture and science, such as superhero comics, psychology, pornography, biology, new electronic media, religion, film studies or philosophy. With their performative investigations, the two artists make strong socio-political statements that are characterised by their unmistakable artistic aesthetics. Their performance-based projects range from big stage works to intimate one-on-one situations in gallery spaces. The artists live in Vienna and present their work in venues, festivals and symposia in Europe and Asia such as Blitz Valletta (solo exhibition, 2018), Kunstraum Niederösterreich Vienna (performance & solo exhibition, 2018; performance & group exhibition, 2015), ArtScience Museum Singapore (performance & group exhibition, 2016), ISEA Hong Kong (artist talk, 2016), Biennale for Slovenian Contemporary Dance Ljubljana (performance, 2015), among others. In 2018, they were awarded the prestigious H13 Lower Austria Prize for Performance, the only prize for performance art in Austria.