Open the door and enter a world of strange machines. They have been dormant, but a switch is all it takes to power them on and that's when the wonder starts.
Ely Tahan is an affirmed painter and photographer, however, his newest creations are startling evidence of a leap in his development as a maker of complex three dimensional objects which the artist himself terms self-performing. That is, self-performing objects designed to elicit intense emotional responses.
At the basis of these unusual artistic installations are years and years of study and research spanning the arc of human endeavors starting with philosophy and ending up with technology and the rise of AI. His very first self-performing object, an archetypal ring of rocks interacting visually and verbally with each other, symbolizes the beginning of self-consciousness and autonomy.
These lighting, talking, puffing, video and sound projecting self-contained environments follow two main themes: one is the still evolving Polytopia series, a decidedly off-beat and playful take on urban design, and the other is the one best represented by the extraordinary Animaplex, able to manifest and share the soul searching of humanoid automata. There are also interesting looking hybrids in the works.
Coming into contact with them is like being a child again and know wonder. They can sense your movements and respond to your presence but what's more amazing is that they themselves project an 'autonomous presence', a sense of existing outside their creator not just as representational or functional tools but especially as phenomena. Mr. Tahan thinks of them as both noumena and phenomena, which describes the reach of their mystery. A countless number of fun, unexpected details and entertaining devices makes each of these works a brand new world to discover with your mind and heart.
Los Angeles 9/2016