digital video, color, sound, 12’ 07”, 2020
Monomyth: gaiden / Return (2019) is the third installment in the ongoing Monomyth: gaiden series (2018-). Structured around the trope of the hero’s journey, it investigates how real life might be experienced as a mediated narrative, focusing on such notions as digital identity, presence, memory, and storytelling. In / Return, the protagonist leaves the Underworld behind and returns to her so-called real life. But is such a reversion possible as the self is inextricably scattered across a network of virtual realms, platforms, and personae? Is narrative closure possible in the age of infinite scrolling?
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Petra Szemán is a moving image artist working with animation and game-like immersive installations. Her practice is centered around instances in which real life can be experienced as fictional. Using a virtual version of herself as a protagonist across various digital realms, she explores liminal spaces and threshold situations, looking to dissect the ways our memories and selves are constructed within a landscape oversaturated with fiction both on- and off-screen. Rejecting the idea of cyberspace as a radically alternative realm, Petra walks the line situated between dystopia and utopia. Petra is a recent Fine Art graduate from Newcastle University (2013-2017) and has exhibited since graduation at NEoN Festival in Dundee, Scotland; Big Screen Southend; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, as well as various galleries across the North East of England. She is currently based in Tsukuba, Japan, developing new work as a recipient of a research scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education and Culture (2018-2020).