The Anabasis residency visual identity

The ANABASIS residency was implemented by Gedankendach international Center in Chernivtsi. Residency itself was inspired by Paul Celan, one of the most important German-speaking poets of the 20’ century and supported by the House of Europe. During the residency artists were invited to deal with questions of identity and posthumanism. They were taking part in workshops and were preparing their projects during the active phase of the residency. Those projects were presented on a website, developed by us in November 2021. Our studio was creating the visual identity for the residency and online gallery in form of the web site [anabasis.residency]

The early topic of Αναβασις was developed in ancient Greek literature, it means «expedition up from»is the most famous work of the Ancient Greek professional soldier and writer Xenophon. It narrates the expedition of a large army of Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger to help him seize the throne of Persia from his brother, Artaxerxes II, in 401 BC. After Cyrus was killed, thousands of Greek soldiers «hoplites» are returning back «home». They don’t really know the way, so their journey looks more like «vagrancy».

By conceptualisation stage of this project we considered three dimensions: a geographical, a textual, and a posthuman context and created the concept of Anabasis development, in the way evolution is going and incorporated it in our visuals. We considered this journey as constant random traveling and searching for something. Let’s imagine, that this search, Anabasis is becoming deeper in every new leap of evolution — if Xenophon's Anabasis is geopolitical and geographical, because the main topic is the return itself, Paul Celan’s Anabasis is cultural-linguistic, as Celan is being lost in the German language, native language, of his parents, which suddenly is being associated with the enemy, so Celan is constantly trying to find the way out of this circle, he is trying to reinvent the German language, he is not comfortable with that. And finally today’s posthuman, digitized Anabasis is about lostness in self-identification process in the modern social distanced virtual reality, in the reality of common uncertainty, in post-fake reality, in reality of mass culture, and multilayered lies, mixed with overall ignorance.

We based our concept on these main iconic ideas, like «map», «compass», «the way from A to B point», «language», «leaps of the history», «cycles», «self identification process».
The 3D object You see appearing in our visuals is the macro photography of glass cubes made by Ruslan Luchko. So what You see on the screen are air bubbles inside the glass cube. Their can be considered as some metaphor of our distorted perception, we give the audience an possibility to look deep into this cube, to imagine himself inside this analogue kind of «metaverse», but in the same time we are filming this moving buble going in cycles, and this bubble can be considered as living thing, as person, as idea.

The logotype itself was a stylised compass. And the normal 4 sides of the world East, West, North and South here are the sides of Anabasis space, referring to main letters «A, N, B, S». Logotype has its representation in static and dynamic animated shape.

In the same time bubble is being reanimated in 3D design by Yuri Bulka and appearing on the website, as the gallery itself, as «the space», which is containing all «artist shapes». They are moving constantly, but they are also staying in the same place. There is this famous quote from Alice in Wonderland - «You need to run as fast, as you can, to stay in place».
Website was being constructed by us as an evolving gallery, it was multipurpose. During the first month it was the tool to communicate the main idea of the residency and some basic curatorial statements, together with the names and bios by artists. During the residency artists were able to drop their work-in-progress-materials into their own drop boxes inside the system, so anyone could track the artistic approach and the progress. There is a storytelling page, which reveals the plot behind the Anabasis and the «map» page, which is the mirror of «the space», but not 3 dimensional. It was made for more utilitarian reasons. At the end, when all artists' works were done, the website was evolved into the gallery. Week before the «online opening» there was a countdown on the main page, and at 20.00PM Anabasis gallery was officially online. Wy also launched on live chat, where, during the first week all members could communicate with artists, managers and developers about the project, like during the offline exhibition in public space.

The «bubble visualisation» was morphed into a dynamic glass spiral with the hidden concept of «walking upward and backward». Using the same macro photography technique we filmed some spiral form and made it spin. Names of the Artists were projected and the spiral itself. We used some constructions with mobile phones and prepared video for this purpose. So the hidden aim was to mix traditional techniques with the digital ones, and create this shift, where You are not sure, is it modelled photorealistic structure, or real photography, you are dealing with.