JOSHUA GOODE,

DEUS ExCAVATOR, NORTH-7

The Two-Headed Mammoth

(Taxes, USA / St. Petersburg, Russia)

 

Blending fact and fiction to highlight the growing plague of intentional historical manipulation, Joshua Goode and Deux Excavators will discover a mummified baby two-headed mammoth during a staged archeological excavation. This unbelievable creature will be a mythical symbol of rebirth and renewal. Collaborating with North-7, Goode will reanimate the mummified mammoth through a Frankenstein-esque ritual. A special device will clone the reincarnated mammoth and spread two-headed mammoths throughout the streets of St. Petersburg.

 

The thawing of the arctic is permitting more frequent discoveries of mummified mammoths.  The high number of mammoths being discovered makes it more likely that a mutated one will be found. The Kunstkamera Museum in St. Petersburg highlights how bizarre mutations are a rare but regularly occurring natural phenomenon and shows how they contribute to mythology. The Lakota people have a legend about the White Buffalo; this is an unusual mutation, and such a rare birth is seen as an omen of a positive future. The return of the majestic mythical two-headed woolly mammoth signals the dawn of a new era and causes us to pause and reevaluate histories that have been widely taught and accepted as fact.  

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Joshua Goode is a Texas-based sculptor and amateur archaeologist. Fascinated by deliberate historical manipulations, he is researching and developing his own satirical history in an effort to expose the malleability of our past, present, and future. His fantastical history and mythology reimagines the detritus of his rustic, working-class youth as iconic ancient artifacts.  Employing his experience of participating in actual archaeological digs, such as Vogelherd Cave in Germany and Gault Site in Texas, he poses as an archaeologist to conduct staged excavations around the world as performances to discover his “artifacts.” The constructed artifacts of his invented civilization mix fact and fiction to appropriate and distort the history and myths of each region he engages. As Goode works with the community to discover his unbelievable artifacts, they also discuss and rediscover the true shared histories of the location. He has completed these public projects in Spain, Germany, Russia, Croatia, Egypt, England, China, Belgium, Finland, and the USA. His “artifacts” have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in international venues such as the Razliv Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia); Capellades Museum, Barcelona (Spain); Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai (China); Darb 1718 in Cairo (Egypt); LaSala Gallery, Zaragoza (Spain); Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb (Croatia); Borey Art Center, St. Petersburg (Russia), the Monchskirchein Museum, Salzwedel (Germany), James Freeman Gallery, London (England), Maxim Boxer Gallery, Moscow (Russia); and Ivy Brown Gallery, New York (USA).

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Artists Kerim Ragimov and Petr Shvetsov (Deus ExCavator), who have been active since 1989, with many solo and group shows (including PARAZIT ones) to their names, began working together in December 2016 to explore the phenomenon of digging and the practices surrounding it. In 2017, they received their tractor driving and machine operating licenses with excavator certifications (nos. 78SK434220 and 78SK434219 respectively).

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North-7 is a group of artists that emerged from an experimental research base founded in 2013 by a group of alumni of St. Petersburg State Secondary Art School and the Pro Arte School for Young Artists. The artists investigate their Russian surroundings, paying no heed to extant institutional dictates and intellectual trends. North-7 is a self-reliant artistic organism that draws its energy from within, from the interactions between its members. While the collective’s members experiment with different artistic languages and forms, performance remains at the core of their practice, as it represents an essential form of live, collective artistic experience.

Group members: Alexander Tsikarishvili, Nestor Engelke, Piotr Diakov, Leonid Tskhe, Anna Andrzhievskaia, Nestor Kharchenko, Oleg Hmelyov, Liza Tsikarishvili, Sasha Zubritskaya, and friends.