"You're a goddess, we all are!" one unnamed influencer shouts encouragingly to her followers. Turning to oneself as an imaginary personal deity is part of the broader theme of the lifestyle of modern Western society, to which various terms can be assigned: the cult of the individual, the cult of inner strength, the cult of just-be-yourself, the cult of the i-am-a-goddess. Today it is not the gods we pray to and worship, but ourselves. At the same time, the myth of the hero has ceased to mean that only one person can be the hero in a story - today anyone can be. The figure of an otherworldly god and a human hero merged into a formless mass, for which today it is a brave act to spill over another day and not dissolve in a flood of motivational videos on TikTok and Instagram. Instructions on how and to whom to pray can easily be found today on the Internet, which represents the holy book of today. For example, one unnamed online lifestyle magazine advises having an altar at home. For a long time, the altar has been considered not only as a tool for worshiping the deity, but also as an "opportunity for contemplation", "realization of one's own values" and "order in life" - in the lifestyle dictionary, an opportunity for the so-called moment for self.
The current installation in the Rhizome Aquarium approaches the idea of sort of an altar. In her work, the artist Šenay Kobak works with fragments of texts, materials and sketches - her own perceptions from the surroundings, which she subsequently transforms into a kind of personal cult objects, when she further shapes them into works of art. The use of a secret language, which is ingeniously interwoven with them like a thread from sheep's wool, takes on a mystical dimension in the works and transforms them into almost sacred objects. In the installation, by placing them imaginary and literal on a pedestal, Šenay Kobak consciously shapes the altar as an idea of representation of one's own world and at the same time plays with the definition of the phenomenon of the cult of one's own self today. Breaking the boundary between the sacred and the profane at the same time gives space to the question: can the Aquarium Rhizome display case also be one of the altars of contemporary society in some way?