Why are fantasy heroes always so sexy?
The appeal of watching a hot stranger in a bar is so similar to looking at a fantasy character. The same sleaziness is involved: to indulge in the 80’s nostalgia of cruising is to look at the sultry loner and read him. To observe the visual codes that mold his identity into a satisfying narrative, complete with chapters of certainty and leaving some uncharted territories to discover. You only need one look and you’re sold. One look and you’ve got your cue to fantasize, the signs speaking silently to make your story unwind as you keep staring.
These rows of theater seats pile up like a Warhammer terrain board. Fantasy is laced with the theatricality of a corporation. The flashlight beam reveals figures staged in a dreamscape between a conference room and a cave: Viktor Naumovski crops them up right in front of you, the first person shooter. Light excavates characters that don’t align with any stories we know, pre-programmed sense fails. They’re awkwardly alien, an uncanny jumble of codes we know from fairy tales, taken out of context, with no backup and no match. Inadequate but clearly here on a mission, a party of heroes on their side quest: low risk, low reward. We can’t stop staring to drill the sense out of their intentions while they morph back and forth between animalistic prowess and the sensuality of a geology teacher.
They transgress, but it’s the genre of transgression found in the dreams of this office guy on the train who has been planning to wear his five-fingered shoes to work for years. A demanding awkwardness, like you’re already halfway in trudging through the swamp and holding your breath. Your date is ugly but you love him, your date is a caver and you’re holding the flashlight for him, you have excavated your date in this damp grotto and by tomorrow you’ll find out if he’s a werewolf or a vampire. Best UK Caving Videos. Tight Cave – Large Caver 4. Dangerous Cave Dig-Out: Extreme Claustrophobia Trigger Alert. Man Cave, Gaming Room, Home Theater 2.0.
Low risk, low reward, desperate survival, hopeless future. The desire to persist spawns all stories: the dampness of nature that collapsed in dry air-conditioned rooms, rebirths as mold in the ventilation ducts. As your eyes meet, the eroticism of the stranger in your fantasy is the lushness of the fantastical creature flashed with lime-light, is the fertility of prehistoric soil that brought everything together into nature.
Thibaut Knapp’s clothes flirt with narration like riddles in folk songs. There are landscapes frozen in them, trapped slices of moments, artefacts kept for the survival of a dreamy apocalypse ,generous storytelling lead astray. Geological eras and chapters of ancestry are winding generously on an infinite loop. Stories about the entire world bring you back to yourself, again and again, into a dead end where you find your desires can only ever make sense when they are looped in with dreams of the Earth.
Photography by Viktor Naumovski
Designs by Thibaut Knapp
Hair by Patricia Ntagoma
Words by Tosia Leniarska
with Daniel Nikolovski, Gudula, Tosia Leniarska, Lloyds Clipson, Patricia Ntagoma