Simulation Hypothesis

Featuring large-scale projection works and sculptures, Simulation Hypothesis follow the history of creation from the Big Bang to the various forms embodying human imagination.

Solo exhibition, 2023


In Simulation Hypothesis, Zhestkov equally seeks inspiration in pre-historic cultures of cave art and ancient bas-reliefs. He plays with a visuality that precedes written language, from a time in which early humans used clay to make vessels and figurines.

The artist uses the inspiration from ancient forms of art and transforms it into digital sculptures using simulations and algorithms based on principles of nature.

The show takes viewers on a conceptual journey, immersing them first in Clouds of Creation, a large-scale projection that recreates the Big Bang, and then guiding them through micro manifestations of this transformative moment of genesis.

Zhestkov’s second large-scale projection Dimensional Dreamscapes evokes the emergence of complex biological structures. In particular, it reflects the transformation of humanity, tracing our journey from cosmic origins to becoming active agents of creation.

It suggests that humanity’s desire to create, build, and alter the world is a continuation of primary cosmic energy, presenting the creative process as a perpetual dance between humans and the elements that were spun into existence with the universe’s inception.

The themes of the two projection artworks are continued in four sculptural pieces which bring the transcendental processes of creation to human scale. With digital and physical combined, the sculptures become portals into the world of Zhestkov embodying artist's concept of screen as a membrane that separates the two worlds but connects them at the same time, allowing to look into the depths of unknown.

Simulation Hypothesis takes inspiration from Zhestkov's previous work and continues artist's research of natural patterns and interconnections of causes and effects.

Curator and art historian Jiyoon Lee writes, “By engaging with what are seemingly constraints, limitations and restrictions, he explores the concept of inverse thinking, wherein the significance lies not only in what is said but also in what is left unsaid. It is within these boundaries and thought processes that Zhestkov discovers the emergence of sculpture-like after-effects of his creative process and decisions, creating a narrative that resonates with the human condition as the echo and after-glow of previous choices.”

Maxim Zhestkov
Project Team:
Vladimir Zhirnov, Vladimir Marychev, Roman Kotov, Anastasia Podkorytova, Ilya Dozhdikov, Artyom Markaryan, Anastasia Suryaninova, Anna Gulyaeva



Simulation Hypothesis

First gallery solo show finding elements of universe creation in human culture and art.

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Modules is a VR art experience, where architecture, sculpture, film, and music blend together to immerse viewers into Zhestkov's world.

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Connecting particles into mighty flows, Waves is an examination of shifts of energy in complicated systems that lead to the inevitable transformation.

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Artificial Organisms

A combination of biological symmetry and impeccable digital matter, they are a representation of budding artificial intelligence.

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PlayStation 5

Two bespoke artworks created for the global launch of PlayStation 5 based on Zhestkov's projects — Layers and Computations, which became embodiments of the soul of the new console.

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BMW i4

An exploration of the primary physical forces behind the car and a research of forces that underlie our existence in the universe.

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Computations speculates a future when computation moves from the opaque ‘black boxes’ of our laptops and devices out into the world.

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Layers is an artwork dedicated to the exploration of the relationship between the inner and the outer sides of objects.

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An abstract representation of transformation and resilience, Volumes is an observation of digital sculptures consisting of millions of spherical particles.

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Exploration of the idea that every system and process can be broken down into elementary blocks.

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Maxim's diploma project, Modul is centred around a comprehensive exploration of the principles of a design language.

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