• Gallery SC
  • May 2003
  • Banners and installation

In his work Have you ever seen Diablo?, Dawor Preis deals with the topic of game. The computer game of the same name, which absorbed the artist himself, as well as a number of his friends, has also become a source of inspiration for the web-site he designed. The peculiarity of his web-site, whose motifs have been taken from the game and transposed into real life, lies in the fact that his work opens a window on the male perspective of life - as opposed to its semiotic counterpart - the female view of life. All “Diablo” players presented in the video within the web-site play some serious and respected roles in their real lives: a gallery courator, a school teacher, a father of two children, a manager in a towel factory… And yet, shot with a static video-camera without their knowledge, they all share the same fascination and the game they play instantaneously transforms them into boys whose sole responsibility in this world is to fight various enemies to save the world. It is practically impossible to imagine a woman with responsibilities and social roles who would, with such a commitment, enjoy her pastime staring at the computer screen.
The computer game - a digital version of football as another phenomenon completely incomprehensible to woman - is analytically transposed into reality in the second part of the site. Namely, each of the presented “boxes” carries a certain motif which links it with the game. Just as players equip themselves with various arms, clothing and magic potions, so does the man equip himself to pursue certain objectives in his real life.

Expressions from the game have been taken to designate the items of real clothes, shoes and other equipment. They all carry a set of values, starting from their monetary worth, their defensive value, to their durability and strength required to operate each item. Thus, for instance, suede ankle boots - referred to as Simon’s shoes (to wit, in local popular culture, such shoes are commonly known as “Simon shoes” after Paul Simon who wears them on the sleeve of an album) - have a monetary value of 87, their defensive value is 20 their durability is rated 36 of maximum 45, while the strength required to wear them is also rated 20. This part of the site contains an animated segment in which the main hero - the artist himself - supplies himself with the equipment that can enable him to reach his goal.
The goal of the artistic game “Diablo” is almost equally unrealistic as that of the real “Diablo” game. Namely, the aim is to win Lamborghini-Diablo, a car which is perhaps affordable to the percentage of the Earth’s population only a bit larger than that which will have the opportunity to save the world from the red devil.
The goals of these two games are also similar in that both deal with the concept of power. In the imaginary world of the real “Diablo” game, power is associated with skill, reflex and a timely identification of the enemy. In the real-life “Diablo” game, power is, of course, associated with money (and a good taste for cars); social status is only a natural consequence of the two.
Finally, needless to say, the artist himself is, unlike his wife, a passionate collector of model cars and the owner and a quite fast driver of a real one.

Olga Majcen