The exhibition by the Kassaboys art group deals with the current issue of conspiracy theories and hidden propaganda.
The exhibition by the Kassaboys art group deals with the current issue of conspiracy theories and hidden propaganda. The exhibition has been created specifically for the space of the Nitra Gallery Bunker, which was originally designed as a fallout shelter to protect the citizens from enemy attacks. Kassaboys have transformed the space into an underground data centre, which is protected from the physical liquidation of the information. A similar security system is used in all the important server storage spaces where any key data is kept.
Kassaboys comment on their work, stating: “In this case, the issue related to the aspects of protection and security provided by a standard military shelter is information. To be more specific, it is the current subspecies of delusional and conspiratorial theories and discourses, that has, also thanks to the Internet, expanded fully in the last decade.”
The installation simulates an emergency situation following a power cut and evokes the preparation for an apocalypse. The data centre is independent of the power supply from the network. Thanks to a generator, it is possible to run the servers with the recorded websites. But when the visitors sit down at a computer, the only source of information they will find are websites that promote conspiracy theories, this type of knowledge being the only one to have survived the information war.
The situation the artists have created is an ironic commentary about the new sort of “underground”, based on information from dubious sources. Conspiracy theory website fans, who declare themselves an alternative, are mere subjects to a different type of manipulation. Bombardment with information such as the danger of chemtrails or the world being controlled by a secret society of those in the highest echelons of power creates insecurity and passivity among people, and it serves as an escape from the real world. This work by the Kassaboys calls for prudence and an active stance. Even if conspiracy theories become physically indestructible, it is possible to liquidate them through critical thinking.
The Kassaboys art group was founded in 2006 in Košice. Its founders and members are Radovan Čerevka (1980), Tomáš Makara (1982) and Peter Vrábeľ (1982). In 2011 the Kassaboys group reached the finals of the Oskár Čepan Award. In the past, they realised several exhibitions and works that attracted the attention of the general public: the exhibition titled Museum (2008) parodied anti-Hungarian statements of Slovak politician Ján Slota; the Kunstuniformen exhibition (2011) played with the idea of uniformed artists; and the Mission 2013 and Happsoc XIII artworks criticised the scandals accompanying the Košice – the European Capital of Culture project.