NGV Triennial




Carnovsky will transform a section of the NGV’s British and European galleries with an immersive wallpaper installation titled Extinctions 2020. Referencing the International Union of Conservation of Nature Red List – a categorisation of seven risk levels from Extinct to Least Concern – a selection of insects and animals will be rendered on the wallpaper in either red, green or blue ink based on their threat level. At first glance the wallpaper appears as a technicolour graphic experience, referencing the 18th and 19th century Western specimen illustrations. When red, green, blue and white light is projected on the wallpaper the installation comes to ‘life’. Playing with the way the human eye perceives the Red Green Blue (RGB) colour spectrum, different coloured species are concealed and revealed depending on the colour of the light shining on the wall. When white light shines, all species are visible – intertwined and overlapping as a colourful jumble. Through this manipulation of sight, the designers remind us of the interconnection between all life on the planet and the precarity of existence in a world being made increasingly inhospitable by human behaviour.

Carnovsky is a design/artist duo comprised of Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla, who began collaborating in 2007. Their RGB (2010) wallpapers explore the notion of ‘surface deepness’, creating wall treatments that mutate and interact with different coloured stimulus. RGB was first presented at Milan Design Week in 2010 and has become an ongoing project for Carnovsky. By experimenting with interaction between printed layers and coloured light projections, the duo explore the idea of surface as medium and play with our perception of depth, both visually and conceptually, in two-dimensions. The interaction of light and colour spectrum create surfaces that mutate and interact with different chromatic stimulus. Carnovsky have exhibited widely at Yoyogi National Stadium, Tokyo; Nuvango Gallery, Toronto and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Anne Ross for her support.