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Taking its name from a randomly generated WLAN password, Yaekahngai considers the screen as a portal to a hypothetical parallel world, with entry prerequisite to having access to the right gate and appropriate tools. A thorough search of the exhibition space reveals a subterranean system driven by a mushroom network and fiber-optic cables — now just to calculate the exact position between the standing stones, known to mark the points of transition into mythological realms.
But something isn’t quite right. Under closer scrutiny the seemingly organic growth is revealed to be an algorith ...
“The title of the exhibition Yaekahngai came from a randomly generated WLAN password, which oddly sounded like a place to me,” says the artist about the genesis of her installative setting in Kunstraum [Lakeside], which she conceives as a passageway between the analog world and multiple digital realities: “A Mongolian spirit realm? A Japanese netherworld? For the first time, the title came to me before anything else in the exhibition, and became a departure point and catalyst for the project as a whole.” (Nika Kupyrova on Yaekahngai, Kunstraum Lakeside 2021)
In Yaekahngai Nika Kupyrova starts with alternative realities as we know them from computer games; the screen serves here as a portal to ghost worlds, astral journeys, and leaps in time. She works with digitally generated environments not only set in their portrayed time or in the time frame of their use, but also at specific places—hypothetical places which users only gain unrestricted access to when they find the right gate and have the appropriate tools, when they possess the password and thus the digital key to the gate. (Franz Thalmair on Yaekahngai, Kunstraum Lakeside 2021)
Nika Kupyrova’s presentations include exhibitions in Karlin Studios FUTURA in Prague (2021), WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels (2018), EXILE Gallery in Vienna (2020), Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art in Pittsburgh, USA (2011), Belvedere21 in Vienna (2019), Wien Museum MUSA in Vienna (2018), SODA Gallery in Bratislava (2018), Kunstraum Niederoesterreich in Vienna (2015) and Meetfactory Centre for Contemporary Art Prague (2012). Nika is a recipient of Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award (2017), an Austrian state scholarship for emerging artists STARTStipendium (2019) and is a co ...