David Blandy & Natalia Skobeeva | Oracles of Humankind

12 May 2016 – 23 May 2016

Royal College of Art, Dyson Building

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Buses: 19, 49, 170, 319, 345
  • Tube: Sloane Square

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For the final show of the Rise Up & Envision Series at the RCA Dyson Gallery, A- - -Z presents Oracles of Humankind with three videos by Natalia Skobeeva and David Blandy.


About the Work

David Blandy, Hercules: Rough Cut, 2015, 11min16

Hercules invented hip hop. Named on the basketball courts of crumbling civilisation, street lights powered block parties, merry go rounds broke the beat back to back, hop from track to track, each transition a labour, fruit from the quest for the funkadelic and the apache, the bongo beating out the beat, unique configurations induced visions from the oracle, it began.

Hercules: Rough Cut, originally commissioned for Bloomberg SPACE, explores empire, civilisation, London and language. It refers to the Roman version of the Greek Heracles, a series of stories rife with internal contradictions and gathered from multiple sources that has inspired artists and writers through time.  Drawing on Bloomberg’s vast archive of global financial news footage, Blandy layers and amalgamates images of the agricultural, the economic, the cultural, the political and the industrial on four screens that revolve and turn next to a large-scale projection. His pulsing poetic rap narrates an alternative history of the City of London (and the world) informed by mythology, war, disease, injustice, technology and development.  He references the language, style and cadence of Roman declamations, Thomas More, Samuel Johnson, William Blake, 1950s Beat poets and contemporary street talk. 

Natalia Skobeeva, Lewis Carroll meets Godzilla, 2016, 3min44

By looking at the meeting point of Lewis Carroll and Godzilla, Skobeeva ventures into exploration of time and human condition.  While the google translate voice brings in a narrative, carefully constructed from quotes from  St Augustine, Hussels, Lewis Carroll, contemporary theatre productions, songs and conversations, the narration constantly reinvents itself and gradually changes the temporal extension of the viewer. Needs to be watched at least 50 times.

Natalia Skobeeva, The Horrors of Archiving, 2015, 11min33

The Horrors of Archiving engages with the life, works and legacy of one of the most important but nearly forgotten figures of Belgian cultural scene of mid 20th century.

Libera Carlier (1926 - 2007) was a Belgian  resistance fighter, sea captain, composer, book and screenplay writer, skier, world traveller and political activist. The twist is that the life story of such a prominent but nearly forgotten figure is brought back to public attention and told by a recent Russian emigrant/family member, from her memories, family stories, multiple encounters and friendship with Libera, and her personal experiences as a new Russian immigrant to Antwerp.

The project explores how political situation and shifting cultural identities alter the linear narrative process of historical events, biographies and autobiographies, not only by the way cultural references and historical occurrences and events are distributed but also how they are interpreted, remembered and further incorporated into one’s autobiographical construction. 

The project aims to expose the construction elements in creating narratives, cultural axioms and knowledge systems, and challenge the common liner-perspective narration by introducing landscape of multliple perspectives of posthumanity, combining and confusing facts, stories, references, time frames and points of view.

What to expect? Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Natalia Skobeeva

David Blandy


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