Exhibited & Auctioned at Sotheby's Paris, France
Chapter 3: Symphony, 2023
'Euphoria' is a digital artwork that conveys a compelling narrative about the cycle of time, the resurgence of nature, and the socio-historical nuances of architectural landscapes.
This 1/1 piece is a collision of the past and future, as well as the physical and digital worlds.
Part of the series 'Symphony' and the collection 'The Wild Within', 'Euphoria' brings an abandoned historic building back to life by combining photography and animation to create a surreal, meditative, moving architectural space.
The artwork aims to revive this vacant space, essentially bringing life back into the building.
Ryan Koopmans and his partner Alice Wexell travelled around the world for several years, exploring and photographing forsaken buildings and unique architectural sites. They were drawn to these locations based on their historical, cultural, and architectural qualities.
Locations include ancient temples in the mountains of Armenia, abandoned sanatoriums in Georgia, ruined villas in the Middle East and beyond.
Once the architecture is photographed, the images are modelled into virtual environments, and overgrown plant-life is added digitally. Lighting and structure are then modified, an original musical composition by Swedish composer Karl-David Larson is created, and the static picture is transformed into a moving image that loops seamlessly.
The architecture featured in 'Euphoria' is situated within an interesting context, marked by a unique backstory. The real-life structure is situated in Tskaltubo, a small Georgian town that was once a popular health destination during the Soviet Union. Thousands of people visited the town’s sanatoriums annually from the 1940s to 1990s. After the USSR collapsed, the buildings were abandoned and fell into disrepair.
Since the early 1990s, the Sanatoriums have been slowly dismantled and stripped of their valuable materials, leaving empty shells of what were once grandiose classical structures.
This abandoned ballroom in the Shaxtiori Sanatorium, constructed 1951 in Socialist Classicism style, proved to be the perfect environment for the artists to apply their creative touch for 'Euphoria'.
The building continues to deteriorate and is being slowly disassembled, further emphasizing the primary theme of the work, the passing of time in a cycle of growth and decay.
Through these artworks, the artists aim to transport the viewer into an alternate place and time.
This fusing of documentary-style photography with the imaginative potential of animation techniques results in a captivating looping digital artwork.
Collected by Spartan Black on Sotheby's.
Euphoria in display inside of the Oculus Transportation Hub at the World Trade Center, New York City.
Auctioned in the Natively Digital collection, Euphoria was part of the first ever set of digital artworks to be both sold and physically displayed at Sotheby's Paris, France location.
Play the artwork with the custom musical score by Swedish composer Karl-David Larson.