Ilaria Speri for Fotopub 2016, Novo mesto (Slovenia): The Live Wild Collective

On the occasion of the third edition of Fotopub, independent photography festival based in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, Fantom’s Ilaria Speri curated the first solo exhibition of the collective Live Wild.

Founded by Camille Lévêque (France – Armenia, 1985) in 2014, Live Wild is composed of Charlotte Fos (Canada, 1990), Anna Hahoutoff (France – Russia, 1993), Marguerite Horay (Belgium, 1981), Lucie Khahoutian (Armenia, 1990), Lila Khosrovian (Armenia – Lebanon, 1987) and Ina Lounguina (Ukraine, 1993).

The show took place in the abandoned residential building Glavni Trg 2, in the main square of Novo Mesto, from August 1–6, 2016. The following text was written by Ilaria Speri to accompany the collective’s work and published in the festival’s catalogue, available here.

 Notes from the second floor of GT2 

“When I first landed on the Live Wild Collective’s website, I was welcomed by a light-bluish image of a computer desktop, which served as a backdrop to a white marble statue surrounded by folders and mountains. A glitch on the screen, and I found myself immersed in a fairy tale, between dreamlike mountainscapes and enchanted woods, flying carpets and golden cups, pomegranates and ancient beauties. Pixels and glitters.

Almost untraceable on social networks, the Live Wild have been using the Internet as their exhibition venue since its foundation in 2014, sharing all projects on the website. The group is composed of seven women, born between 1981 and 1993 in different countries and living in just as many different places. All seven artists have never met in one place at the same time, however they all met each other separately, in places between Armenia, Belgium, Canada, Georgia, Lebanon, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

When the collective was founded, a Dropbox folder was created. Each of the artists would contribute to it, as well as draw fully from it. Sharing research and visual imagery, they turned the archive into a driving force for carrying out their individual projects, be it collages, animated gifs, manipulated family photographs. As a result, recurring elements and bits of the very same pictures are often to be perceived – if not recognised –, fostering a dialogue between one work and another.

Albeit most images show a generous pinch of the low‐fi and beautifully cheesy digital aesthetics that have marked art, music and popular culture in the past years, the melting with other iconographies – Armenian especially –, together with the individual interests and cultural roots of the artists, brings fantasy and reality, old and new, digital and analogue, vintage and high­‐tech, politics and popular culture to one single place, playing a symphony of original ingredients and engaging associations.

This is the Live Wild’s first solo group show. With such little display history, anything could be done with, to, and around the images with great freedom. Conceiving the space as a three­‐dimensional version of the website, the Live Wild took over the second floor of the GT2 in Novo Mesto: an atrium, seven rooms, seven worlds to be discovered.”

The Live Wild Collective   
From August 1 – 6, 2016 
Fotopub festival 
Novo Mesto, Slovenia