The work of Filip Custic has been on our radar for a while, dating back to his early days in 2018 as a Barcelona-based photographer pushing the frontier of digital realism. Now, Filip has gone on to achieve a host of incredible accomplishments – his most recent being a new exhibition titled human product, showing in Tokyo at the PARCO Museum. The exhibition explores intricate dynamics between our physical body, cognitive faculties and technological devices, and how these three elements interact to shape identity. “Capitalism culture and how it affects us fired my imagination,” Filip tells It’s Nice That on the exhibition’s initial inspiration. “I wanted to generate a dialogue, a conversation, about what our existence is like and how we are capable of inventing systems that mark our lives, such as the economic system.”
From prints to wearables, installation and performance, the multidisciplinary creative opens up a conversation on consumerist culture and the transmutation of humans into commodities. “I want to go deeper and reflect on human existence and our ability to update ourselves almost like an operating system,” Filip says. “While also examining our tendency to create complex systems that give meaning to our lives.”
There’s much to interact with and experience at human product, as the exhibition brings Filip’s signature computer graphic photography style to life with immersive results. The exhibition draws a line between technology and the profitability of human existence. “I would like the visitors to experience something new, something never experienced before and to open an inner dialogue,” Filip says.
One of the most fascinating parts of the exhibition is the wearable unique pieces and face-mapping which documents and portrays the present and near future, entwining reality with the virtual. “In the screen bag, I use the bag as an object that is worn and carried on the street. In the main area of the bag, the one used by brands with their logos, instead of communicating a brand with its logo, I include a universal message: quantum and diverse love,” Filip explains. “I wanted to use that ‘canvas’ to communicate ideas that help us to elevate ourselves and think in a broader way instead of communicating the idea of ‘consumption, consumption, consumption’”.
Filip has always been an artist who embraces the digital age, so it’s no surprise that human product continues to explore these motifs with a twist. “I'm interested in bringing screens into reality because it means bringing virtuality into our physical space,” he tells us. “We live in the age of virtuality and I am most interested in materialising ideas.” Similarly, masks in Filip’s work play an important role. “I like my artistic identity to always be with a mask, to make people doubt,” Filip explains. “Is it a robot? Is it something virtual or is it a human? That's what I like, to generate that mystery: who is behind it.”
GalleryFilip Custic: human product (Copyright © Filip Custic, 2023)
Filip Custic: human product (Copyright © Filip Custic, 2023)
About the Author
Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.