Olia Lialina’s “Anna Karenin Goes to Paradise” (1994-6)

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Anna Karenin Goes to Paradise, an internet based work by Olia Lialina is a narrative work that features undertones of explorations of the functionality of the search engine. This comedic net art installation contains several references to pre Google search engines. The work itself is featured on the website http://www.teleportacia.org/anna/ and is broken down into three comedic “acts”.

This work compiles several different disciplines as it explores literature through the use of inspiration drawn from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenin, as well as search engines from the time before Google existed. Lialina’s interpretation of concepts of love and paradise are rather unique as they are displayed within her work.

One thing that I found interesting is the use of search engines other than Google in this work. Google is the most prominent search engine in today’s society. We use Google so frequently, and for me, Google is my go to whenever I need to know something or do a quick look up. I think the artists inclusion of other search engines when put in a modern atmosphere demonstrates a forgotten paradise. A paradise of “abandoned” search engines.

Ultimately, I think this work is successful. Not only is it aesthetically interesting, but it also displays a unique and deeper meaning that causes the viewer to think about those once popular and now forgotten search engines. The authors interpretation of the concepts of love and paradise transfixed with the idea of search engines proposes a unique concept for the viewer to consider.

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Olia Lialina’s “Anna Karenin Goes to Paradise” (1994-6)

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