From the series – “Polaroid Dreams”
Photo by Yana Tibben
Voskhod Gallery, OBDN Gallery and Art Catch Gallery present ‘X-Nowness’, a collective exhibition supported by Voices of Culture, which opens at Basel Art Center on June 16th.
The project brings together 38 contemporary artists and art groups, and offers a vision on the concept of time and the so-called ‘nowness’ — the quality or state of existing or occurring in or belonging to the present time.
‘Time is not linear and doesn’t consist of discrete physical points. Rather, it is perceived as a frightening shift, chasing itself, at times running faster or on the contrary falling behind. Nowness itself is followed by its own ghost, some x-unknown. X-nowness can be represented as an innumerable diversity of variations of reality, an area inhabited by ghosts and not linked to any time. This invisible schism is actually a dynamic link between the past and the present, that is felt and exposed by the artists in the physical world. Their artworks exist temporally, as a glimmer between the past and the future, between the reality and the allegories for the reality’ (by Dasha Yartseva)
@voskhod_gallery @obdnnie @artcatch.art
16 — 22 June 2022
Basel Art Center
Site-specific installation – The Thinking Landscape vol-I, The Thinking Landscape vol-II.
Maxim Ksuta’s artistic practice is extremely diverse, operating on the iterface of various media, including painting, drawing, photography, video, installation, as well as going far in terms of thematic variety, adding intellectual, scholarly, even almost scientific elements on top of the creative. The new project remains faithful to Maxim’s knack for serialised production, which enables a contemplative and consistent, almost lablike deep dives into the techniques and effects that are of interest to the artist. The new Architectonics exhibition comprises several series by the artist.
Projects by Ksuta have repeatedly addressed the links between the particular and the abstract. In his project The Expulsion dating back to 2007, the dense calligraphy and lettering produced emergent anthropomorphic figures, whereas the 2013 photo series CY, which was inspired by the art of Cy Twombly, had pictures of natural objects that were freely combined into natural abstractions. The Horizons series of canvases, based on EEG readings of the brain, transforms the brain waves into mountainscapes, whereby the outlines of mountain peaks are gradually dissolved in the pastel-coloured atmospheric fog.
The Tectonic Painting monochrome series was inspired by the projectionists of the Method Group and here the artist explores the intricacies of interaction between richly textured painting and the viewer’s gaze as a function of lighting effects and point of view. It’s hard to tell whether the audience becomes the subject of the experiment or the artist’s co-contributor. These works by Ksuta are much closer to canvases by Pierre Soulages who is obsessed with the idea of manifesting the substance of light than, for example, the sculpture-like canvas planes of Jason Martin’s black series. Unlike Soulages, however, Ksuta’s uninterrupted brushwork generates mirages of abstracted landscapes that depict sand dunes and futuristic cities.
The Shards of Memory series of objects features small, tabletop sculptures that emanate proper traits of monumental and even grand pieces. Carved in different stone varieties, these are almost like uncovered ancient artefacts, partially submersed in sand and partially washed out by time. It is hard to discern at first glance whether one is looking at some miniature mock-ups of sacred buildings or, similarly to Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, has grown to immeasurable proportions after having taken the potion. This exhibition by Maxim Ksuta virtually places us into a Japanese Zen Garden, intended for meditation and connection with nature. As one’s eye glide over the wavy black surfaces of the Tectonic Series or examine the coarse surfaces of the miniature Shards, it is there, at the epicentre of an endless whirlpool of urban energies, where one actually feels the time freeze in the still crispy air, while the body is infused with calm and content. The magic in Maxim Ksuta’s work provides the viewer with a remarkable experience of an aware, evenly paced, lived moment in all its fullness, purity, and uniqueness.
My current practice focuses on paintings that interact actively with the ambient lighting due to their execution: monochrome (soot black) and textured uninterrupted brushwork. The brushwork structure is such that the painting plane interferes with and diffracts the light. This produces a visual effect of a fluid flow whenever the viewing angle is altered. Grouped ogether, these works are dedicated to the Method Group, an early-20th century members of the rojectionism movement.
‘The theme should be given such autistic expression and such mode of presentation that the viewer, when he perceives it, not only receives new knowledge of the system of modernity, but also undergoes new biomorphic processes, develops new mental systems, new systems for perception of the world’, the projectionists claimed. The idea that this completely different functional purpose for a painting is possible
inspired me to make the Tectonic Series.
As I continued to explore pseudoperiodic mosaics and fractals, I investigated aperiodic ornaments, the kind that do not form a repeated pattern on the wall. Then, the variations of scale came into play: massive ornaments can be seen at a distance whereas finer patterns, the comprising parts of the larger ones, can only be seen up close. In order to build each element, I was guided in the application and orientation of my brushwork based on Penrose tiling. The resulting structure appears threedimensional and changes dynamically depending on the angle of viewing. It is also not unlike the reference I used — muqarnas, a common element in traditional Arabic and Persian architecture.
The paintings, which look like aerial views, are in fact modified brain electroencephalograms. The curves were plotted by an EEG machine during a small experiment. The subject hooked up to the machine was shown panels colored in one of several earth tones, and the response of the nervous system to this stimulus was recorded. The signals corresponding to the tones were then used to paint the landscapes
At the Fringes is an exhibition organized by the Department of Research Arts, a center for artistic research projects focused on the Russian territory. This new project shows the life at the fringes and in the border territories of Russia, where fringes are not exclusively state borders but also natural boundaries, land areas, divides and limits of space.
Areas that have been historically considered “remote”, “disconnected,” “isolated,” become especially interesting in today’s society as the means of communication have been organically integrated into the human ecosystem and transformed our perception of space. The fringes are closer than ever now but still remain somewhat distant. These can be spaces well within the country’s landmass as well as border territories.
Cohesiveness of space, in Russia and globally, is not uniform which produces modern forms of geographic inequality. The non-uniformity can be observed as some parts of the country are better known while others remain “uncharted territories”; the project takes this disparity as its starting point.
The exhibition opens with documentary projects where each presents an interpretation of archival or documentary records (photographs, official documents, sketches, field notes, video) covering a fringe region.
A stand-alone part of the project is its “permanent exposition.” It comprises painting and photography that recreate the image of a fringe with varying degrees of visual approximation. Complementing it, there is a library section that offers insights into the history of the Russian space and its landmark social, philosophical and artistic concepts.
In the third part of the exposition, the acoustic experience is just as important as the visual. The audience is immersed into the fringe space through installations and objects.
The project is supported by the Presidential Grants Foundation.
ZAPOVEDNIK research group
Triumph Gallery (Moscow) will present its key artists at the Other Shores Exhibition in Manege. This project reviews opportunities to keep and pass on experience and knowledge through personal notes, maps and routes. The exhibition is based on the idea of a psychogeographic drifting or studying urban environment through one’s aesthetic and emotional experience (the term was introduced by Guy Debord). In their works, the artists conceptualize the changes in today’s world. The reality they recreate in installations, videos, paintings and sculpture becomes a true mosaic of observations, collective memory fragments and fantasies of a potential future.
The name of the exhibition alludes to a number of cultural narratives. One of them is Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography that takes us back to certain episodes of his childhood and adolescence, as well as his relocation from one continent to another.