"Museum of Poisons"
Anna Nova Gallery presents an exhibition by Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov.
His Poison Museum is a project connecting archeology, biology, and art. Through the use of visual elements of poisonous animals and plants, the artist has formed a peculiar museum of poisons and antidotes, illness protecting amulets and artefacts of the medieval antidote industry. Ancient tribes believed that poisons and illnesses were the same and used similar words to denote them. People used to diabolize illnesses, imaging them as monsters, and crafting protection artefacts and spirit catchers. Then, in the Middle Ages, poisons became alchemistry for aristocrats, just like antidotes, which became more and more sophisticated in shape. At that time, people studied this subject through watching poisonous animas and plants, and even today this domain of biology remains among the most poorly studied ones.
Moreover, there is hardly any information on poisonous substances available to the public. Such secrecy made this field encrusted with myths and turned it to something for the public mind to speculate on. However, Mr. Fedotov-Fedorov accounts this problem at a larger scale. He presents the Internet as a new human environment, where the niche of poisonous animals and plants belongs to data, which can easily turn cause lethal outcomes. That’s why along with other objects, the exhibition features texts borrowed from the Internet – dangerous diets that can sap your health or disputable self-treatment advice, which can cause death if followed. The exhibition analyses the global issue of information reliability, and distinction between truth, fiction, and blatant lies.
Poison Museum is the first part of the large study that the artist is going to continue in Holland, from April till September 2018, under the auspices of the Medical University and the Central Hospital of Amsterdam.