Exploring memory and points of view, artist Dmitrii Kilaga creates digitally mixed artworks inspired by ordinary realities, 1990s era VHS tapes and experimental movies.
This story project isn’t about a rough political and economic period of my country. It is about exceptional years of cultural impact from entertainment, cults, and media in general on my society’s state of mind during the time I was raised--spreading fear after the total collapse of a country that no longer even exists. That was my 90’s: where both my country and I experienced an “equal damaged” mentality.
“Equal damage” is when both sides (society or country and myself at that time) were affected by uncontrolled forces and disasters. The country was mainly bankrupt and people were mentally or morally distressed. I’d like to note that I don't support the Soviet regime, and do not to consider myself as a victim. It’s just a part of history and my story.
Due to seventy years of total quarantine from every kind of life - in other words, censorship - the country merely started getting a breath of fresh air in 1991. The intensive wave of psychotic anxiety that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the sudden ending of censorship that the society was used to, overwhelmed every citizen through television, zines, newspapers, radio, and booklets. With the lack of information filtering and alternative points of view, everyone would trust any rascal.
During prime time, thousands of people listened to sermons by destructive religion cult leader Aum Shinrikyo’s Shoko Asahara (notoriously famed for Tokyo’s terrorist attacks in 1995). Millions of middle-aged people put their buckets of water in front of the TV as a ‘miracle cure’ for health and luck, just because the anchorman assured them of the healing power of magic.
My grandma was obsessed (and she still is) with magazines about UFOs and expected their imminent invasion. I was desperately frightened by the mask of ancient Chinese philosopher Guo Xiang, as the logo of the main public broadcast company.
It’s not society’s fault, nor that of TV, radio, or anything else. It just depends on parental control and education. And I don’t blame my mom and dad either. They had no option. They just left me in front of the TV, as everyone else left their bucket of water in the room for miracles happening. After a permanent watching dose of psychedelic underground cartoons, terrible news, and disgusting low budget movies, I always had nightmares.
Another trouble we faced was the location of our apartment, fifty meters from a railway hub. The mix of sounds and shadow of trains made me scream almost every night, just because I saw the shadows of wagons as a marching parade on my room’s wall and heard the dispatcher’s voice. Every night used to come to me with the same fear of macabre marches. It all seemed to me as a never-ending story in the Covid-19 lockdown.
Nevertheless, “Collusion” was made during the quarantine and gained a different perspective from these days, while still a reflection of my childhood fears that are chasing me from time to time. And sometimes they are heading for revival just like fashion. When someone draws inspiration in the 90s, I draw straight from the 90s to a time of escapades and insanity, with a narrow line between humanity, alienation and my memory. That’s our decade, that’s our point of no return.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My name is Dmitrii and I’m a lo-fi experimental digital artist from Russia. Currently I’ve chosen the interaction with mixing of digital filming and drawing in a single creation. Most of my works were inspired by the VHS tapes from the 90's, experimental short movies, memories and ordinary reality. The main reasons and things that drive me to create have always been alienation between my personality and society, as well as a private taboo for words to express my point of view and connect to my memories.