Eugenia Lapteva & Erik Gustafsson

Text by Sarah Oberrauch

This text in English

The New Infinity: A State of Being or Becoming

Today the opportunities for instant gratification and self-actualisation seem endless. But to what extent, in the digital landscape of ephemerality and spectrality, do we lose our ability to recognise the real and remain distinct from the images, objects, ideas and people that surround us in our everyday lives? How might the illusion of unlimited subjective possibilities nurture an infantile fantasy of omnipotence and lead us to wander further away from ourselves and from the ethical conjunction with the other? Is it possible to navigate this new infinity and its persistence in being-as-having, while at the same time remaining open and welcoming to the irreducible difference between human beings; the limit, or mystery, as it were, which is internal to human subjectivity and subsists at the core of desire?
The New Infinity: A State of Being or Becoming? delves into psychoanalytical and philosophical explorations of human development to address the distinctive situation we face today in terms of the ways in which we relate, and fail to relate, to ourselves and others in contemporary culture. The succession of still and moving images, collected from our personal archives, was formed in response to a written theoretical piece, the sound recording of which itself acts as a reply to the visual backdrop and which together could be seen as forming a mutually constitutive relation. Different modes of meaning enter into dialogue with one another, intersect and collide, providing a stage for new dialogues and readings of the work as a whole, and its separate elements, to emerge and take root within the viewer.

Erik Gustafsson (1987) is currently studying fine art photography at Valand Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. His work spans a variety of media, including photography, video and mixed media, all of which tend to explore the indeterminate borderland between fictive and documentary photography. Distorted stills from a grandfather's super 8 videos are given new meaning alongside the silent portrait of a friend or an empty room. Untied by a sense of intimacy, honesty and intrigue, personal archives and found material merge and transform into ephemeral objects that elude definition and dwell in the shadows of reality and imagination.

Eugenia Lapteva is a London based writer and editor. Born and raised in Stockholm she completed her BA in English and European Literature at University of Sussex and MA in Comparative Literature and Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the editor of Odiseo journal and has written for notable publications such as Tank, The White Review, ELLE, Odiseo, Husk and Under the Influence, writing particularly on modern culture, psychoanalysis and the ethical relationship. Her main research interests revolve around the nature of human subjectivity, language and love, and the impact of new technology on human relations today. She is currently training to be a psychoanalyst in London.