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
em parceria com PhotoVisa, International Festival of Photography, Russia
Via … … … …
While working on The Sequences of Conditions, I was inspired by two works of fundamental research: a book by Martin Gardner entitled Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers and Barnett Newman’s manifesto The Plasmic Image.
I have always been fascinated by the problems involved in creating a universal artistic element that could be developed endlessly, interacting with different spaces. By way of example, fractal is such an element in mathematics. In my project the fractal medium is a square that has no proportions. Two images constructed from such elements bear an extremely approximate resemblance to the familiar world that we know (“forest”space and “atmosphere” space).
Atmosphere is a combination of chemical elements. By analogy, the atmosphere of the picture is created thanks to the interaction of minerals bonded by resins, oils and varnishes. In my project I set myself the figurative objective of combining two spaces in one work so smoothly that spectators would not be able to perceive the transition. As is the case, for example, in ambient music popularly termed atmospheric.
The sequence of the condition of the work arises thanks to the colour dynamics in its fragments. This approach is closer to a Chinese scroll than a North European still life, which compels us to come closer and closer to the work. And this is how it is disclosed, demonstrating yet another quality — the microcosm of the details. Works on scrolls exceeding 10 metres in length motivate us to look for the great in large-scale works,
which cannot be appropriately viewed in a single glance. In my installation each separate fragment represents a frame of the conditions. The Sequences of Conditions may be developed in different physical directions, unleashing the hidden potential of degrees of freedom of the work, while simultaneously immersed in its own lack of freedom. This growth process in the infinite work can be stopped once I receive answers to most of the questions that I have raised regarding painting, methodology and motivation.
RENUNCIATION OF FIGURATIVE ART
The impact of the work is not attributable to the form, but instead to the elusive magnetism surrounding the space of the work. Such magnetism in Newman’s works was expressed in a series of plasmic paintings. I was enthralled by this idea. I worked on the composition of space, using the technique of consecutive simplification, abstracting as much as possible away from figurative art.
The audio video installation consists of 12 LCD screens, where one character singsthe vowel sounds, of which there are naturally six in Russian. Each scene and sound isplayed on a separate screen. The screens are specifically not synchronised with each other at the launch of the video, while the sound is intentionally expanded with a reverberator,
thereby acquiring a volumetric and slightly otherworldly sound. In the 1950s Igor Stravinsky started using serial compositional techniques, which involves a specific concept for writing music, namely: a technique of musical composition whereby a series (row) of non-recurrent sounds serve as the pitch. It was introduced into musical practice in the works of Arnold Schoenberg and Аnton Webern. Threni: id est Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae from 1958 was the first completely serial composition, where Stravinsky rejected tonality as such. Working on the “chorus”, I adhered to the serial technique and intentionally selected the vowel sounds of the composer’s native language, which can be sung and combined
in a polyphonic structure.
The project is about communication and relationships.
“With the world on a string”
Dear friends, I ask you to send me the segment of the thread of any length and color.
Location – in a personal message.
The group project “Intertext” explores the question of text and image interpenetration.
The exhibition brings together both Moscow conceptualists (Dmitriy Prigov, Yuri Albert, Andrey Filippov) and contemporary european and russian artists working within the raised problematics.
Some artists, such as Leonid Tishkov, Nikita Alexeev, Victor Umnov, and Babi Badalov, can be equally considered writers, since their visual images complement their textual creatures.
Contemporary text in the form of digital or figure poetry is often created using computer technologies. Generating an image by various digital codes, the media poets and video artists Natalia Fedorova, Anna Tolkacheva, and Charles Sandison partially delegate their role to the machine.
A part of the exhibition, presented by works of Tania Mouraud, Victor Panov, Maxim Ksuta, EvgeniyDobrovinskiy and Ilya Grishaev, is dedicated to the symbolic image as a graphic element, automatic writing and calligraphic practice. Not only the signs, but also the gaps between them, the intentional concealment or understatement become a means of artistic expression.
Such artists as Semen Motolyanets, Georgyi Ostretsov, and Valery Chtak use texts as slogans, tags or symbols associated with popular culture, politics and social intercourse. The text slogans mark the very nature of social communication, based on the same sign system.
Each text, featured at the exhibition, is not a separate statement, but only a fragment of the universe verbal-textual structure. The texts, presented by the artists in various forms, don’t always require reading; very often they just serve a reminder or a link to the other texts outside the exhibition space. The exposition does not imply an immediate and consistent reading; it rather serves a starting point for numerous narrations. Intertextuality becomes not just a research vector, but the practice itself.
Participants: Nikita Alexeev, Uriy Albert, Nadezhda Anfalova, Babi Badalov, Evgeniy Dobrovinskiy, Ilyia Grishaev, Ludmila Konsatntinova, Olya Kroytor, Maxim Ksuta, Georgiy Litichevsky, Semen Motolianets, Denis Patrakeev, Sergei Pakhomov, Dmitriy Prigov, Tania Mouraud, Georgyi Ostretsov, Charles Sandison, Marina Smorodinova, Leonid Tishkov, Anna Tolkacheva, Andrey Filippov, Alexandr Tsikarishvili, Victor Umnov, Natalia Fedorova, Dmitriy Shagin, Kristina Yatkovskaya.
Curator of the exhibition — Elizaveta Shagina.