Herakut is a contemporary German artist duo comprised of Hera, a painter, and Akut, a graffiti artist, who combine traditional techniques and spray painting to depict mythological creatures and darkly comedic scenes. Even though their techniques and approach are rooted in the subculture of graffiti, their home is in urban contemporary or street art.
Their cardboard installation Silent Battle (2020) presents children engaged in various competitive games against an assortment of characters. Suggestive of an imaginary world conjured up to combat childhood isolation; the work also proposes that seclusion does not impede personal growth.
‘It was clear from the start that we wanted to create an imaginative scenario in which a child with no defined gender shares the space with various creatures in a friendly manner. What could be more civilized than having the child enjoy a game of chess, quietly played on eye-level with a friend who is deeply emerged in thoughts. The fact that the worthy opponent is a monkey, most likely an imagined one, is owed to the current quarantine situation – obviously. But being isolated does not keep you from personal growth. Spending time challenging yourself does hold the opportunity to become a better version of you, hopefully a nicer, kinder and more appreciative you’ (Herakut, 2020).
The creation and installation of Silent Battle is a well-fitting example of one of the many pandemic driven obstacles faced by disCONNECT. As Hera and Akut were unable to travel to London for installation, it was achieved by means of countless communication on phones and computers between everyone involved. Herakut chose to work with cardboard for disCONNECT because it is light enough to transport and easy to rebuild. In addition, it was important to create an illusion of themselves physically installing their own work in the space. Thus, Herakut agreed to have their texts and drawings projected on the walls and then painted by the project manager and an eight-year-old child. Their use of discarded items from the house, used as props for their installation, further strengthened the illusion.
Click here to see a video glimpse of their installation.