The Feast of Trimalchio, 2009 - 2011
AES F - Moscow, Russia
Video Installation (9-channel HD video installation, 360°)
The Feast of Trimalchio from Petronius's Satyricon is the inspiration for this installation. The name of Trimalchio, the former slave and nouveau riche host of days-long feasts, is synonymous with wealth and luxury.
AES F searched for an analogy in the third millennium and Trimalchio now appears not as an individual but as a luxurious hotel - a temporary paradise that one pays to enter. The hotel guests ("masters") are from the land of the Golden Billion. They spend their time as guests of present-day Trimalchio in his exotic hotel. The "masters" possess all of the characteristics of the human race - they are of all ages and from all social backgrounds (university professors, brokers, society beauties, intellectuals). Trimalchio's "servants" are young, attractive and from all continents. They work as housekeeping staff, waiters, chefs, gardeners, security guards and masseurs.
At times the "masters" end up in the role of "servants". Both become participants in an orgiastic gala reception, a dinner in the style of Roman saturnalia, when slaves dressed as patricians reclined at tables and their masters, dressed in slaves' tunics, served them.
This animated panoramic video installation comprises more than 70,000 still images.
AES F is a collective of Russian artists - Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes. They work with photography, video, sculpture, painting and mixed media. The group is known for its masterful manipulation of the fashion and advertising idiom which, when combined with a deep appreciation for the history of art, produces deliberately slick, yet complex and challenging narratives.