Art is like a bird trying to escape from its cage, wanting to free itself from the restrictions of institutions and open up. Its rejection of the sterile comfort of museums changes the form of the works themselves, creating new qualitative aspects. This “going out into the world” establishes new rules for how the artist interacts with natural phenomenons. The tradition of mimesis fades into the background, and nature appears in the foreground as an equal, almost like a collaborator. And, as often happens between partners, the working process involves disagreement and disunity, even despair; but at the end, with a successful set of circumstances, a new aesthetic appears that is based largely on negotiation and mutual understanding. The quote from a poem by Pushkin was chosen as the title of the project because it points to the vector of human relations to nature – the monotonous rhythm of despair, winter, spring, summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer, autumn, despair – that remains unchanged.
The rotation of the seasons continues in the background as revolutions and wars are fought and people wander, but no matter what happens, another cold spring will come. Evgeny Yufit’s film “Papa, Father Frost is Dead” is included in the exhibit to set the general atmosphere: it envelops and wraps around the rest of the works, endlessly murmuring like a stream, canceling out color and intensifying texture. Each of the artists made a sort of pledge to some natural phenomenon, which we as viewers must discover. The flickering shadows and dandelion fluff of Sergey Denisov, the rainbows and crystals of Denis Patrakeev, the trembling crackles of Elena Slobtseva, the bronze labyrinths of Vlad Kulkov, the artificial blossoming of Ivan Karpov, the purified forms of Sergei Mescheryakov, and the manual labor of artist and plowman Vladimir Yashke.
Rilke wrote in the book Worpswede (1903), “… we finally admit: the landscape is alien to us, and you feel terribly lonely among the trees that blossom, and among the streams that flow past. Even being left alone with a dead man doesn’t make you feel as desolate as being alone with the trees. For no matter how mysterious death may be, even more mysterious is life which is not ours, life that is indifferent to us, not noticing us, that celebrates its own special occasions, which we observe as if we were accidental foreign visitors, and not without some bewilderment…” The artist’s ability to overcome this loneliness and helplessness by interacting with a parallel familiar and unfamiliar world is one of the key concepts of the project.
Curator: Peter Belyi.
Artists: Evgeny Yufit, Vlad Kulkov, Denis Patrakeev, Sergey Denisov, Elena Slobtseva, Sergei Mescheryakov, Vladimir Yashke, Ivan Karpov.