Nika Kupyrova

Artist, curator and art enthusiast – born in Ukraine, studied in Czech Republic, Scotland and Iceland and currently finds her creative home in Vienna. Exhibited, among other, in WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, National Center for Contemporary Art Moscow, LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz and Meetfactory Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague.

Adventure, fantasy, mystery, action

The project looks at dystopian and utopian narratives in pop culture as a litmus test for society’s ability to envision a future of itself. Innovation is driven forward by visions of the future where progress leads to universal gain and where the current concerns find their resolution. Respectively, a strong re-emergence of dystopian fiction, both classical and new, can be seen as symptomatic of urgency and powerlessness in face of the issues contemporary society is facing.
With the currently dominant pop-culture scenario for the imagined future being a clean slate, a new beginning after a global apocalypse, I notice a re-emergence of narratives emphasizing the individual’s perseverance and strength, survival against all odds. A new fascination with self-reliant individual, regaining autonomy while surrounded by the anarchy of a crumbled-down culture and relics of the failed past, has an aura I associate with video games, where the player experiences the narrative though the eyes of a solipsistic protagonist.
The character is usually on a quest of some sort, making acquaintances and alliances, but always remaining solely responsible for their own survival. They carry their entire possessions with them in a supposed ‘backpack’ – an inventory list that can be opened and scrolled through, to equip the recent and most efficient pillaged equipment and toss out or sell the one with the lower ‘stats’.
Looking at video games as a genre known for working with post-apocalyptic narratives the series explores the aesthetics of survivalism and romantisation of a ‘lone-wolf’ scenario of an individual against the hostile world.


UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 2019

Copy of nika_kupyrova_artwork03.jpg
Visual ArtsOliver WoodN