Published on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Various exhibitions have dealt with the theme of modernity and heritage in what seems to be an endless era.
For both “Post-post modernism” and the more recent “Alter-modernism” the idea of modernity tends to be looked at from a Eurocentric prospective, despite the fact that certain realities have been seemingly omitted. These realities, even those concerning the political regime, have nevertheless grown concise ideas such those concerning the former USSR.
The first exhibition of the season at the Sandretto Foundation is a thorough overview of Russian contemporary art that contemplates a rare liveliness from periods where –times of repression- are perceived as dark eras in the general opinion.
The title, Modernikon
conjures the ideas both modernity and tradition through a conceptual, formal and expressive new reading of the past, which brings about a steady and coherent awareness of history.
The term “Modern” is intended to encompass the time between yesterday and tomorrow, without presenting the period in a nostalgic way. Instead, the process moves through an avant-garde concept, not to be described as radical, but one where social perception is carefully conveyed so that each individual lies within the concept he or she operates.
The centre, being therefore the work of art, as declared by Anatoli Osmolovsky,
featured artist in Modernikon
and known protagonist of the muscovite movement, presents a series of bronze sculptures
(entitled “Rot Frot Remains”
) that reproduce on a large scale the shape of a malleable substance clenched by a closed fist, whose emptiness referes to communism.
Another reflection upon ideological failure is represented by Egalité
, a video by Elena Kovylina
. The performance features 11 people at a park on a winter day. Each coming from a different social sphere, they sit on 11 footstools, of different heights. Their heads form a horizontal line, symbolising democratic equality, overall perceived as deceitful, after the soviet break down was rapidly replaced the mass homologation of a unique way of thinking.
renown western art expert, translates three iron material Rembrandt drawings tri-dimensionally, meeting half-way between figurative and abstraction. The quick gesture of the hand’s sketching on paper, and a subtly outlined metallic silhouette become tangled up through change in relation to the perspective.
A critique on colonialism is the story told by young David Ter-Oganyan.
This analysis, urged at the time of post-sovietic Russia, it is herein filtered through the prospective of a European occupation. The pseudo-supremacist silhouettes depicting the different countries of Africa remind us of the diverse shapes of the territorial divisions within the Eurasian countries, or the ex- socialist republics once subjugated to Stalin’s imperialism ambitions.
Giving an intimate, or personal perspective of the political-social context, the works offer a pedagogic perspective of a monumental issue, and a formal idea which becomes a strong presence. Andrey Kuzkin
‘s work Levitation Heroes
which on a wide scale looks like abandoned and prematurely aged children, whose skin, represented by the stratification of a loaf of bread, hints at decay. The artist, who is shown as a hero levitating on a suspended hammock becomes, during the performance and all its nudity, a sort of existential memento mori