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Curator: Alisa Prudnikova (National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Yekaterinburg)
A contemporary artist is a researcher of his/her environment and mentality. The way to self-determination, identity is a very important process: this is where we live, and who we are. Once within the framework of the action “Completel Concrete”, we invited to participate the famous Yekaterinburg group of artists «Kuda begut sobaki», they kept the result under the veil of secrecy until the very beginning of the performance, and on the poster we wrote that the performance is entitled “Complete Industrial”, keeping in mind the style of their recent projects. But what we finally had was a delicate fairy tale, woven of delicate feathers and satin ribbons with a little girl – a live princess, who was on a swing decorated with flowers, holding a plush bear-cub and a mirror, where it was written “complete industrial” with a red lipstick.
The problem of discrepancy between the image and the action is exactly the Ural problem. A conscientious artist/curator, thinking over his/her own representation and identity, comes to a quite small number of characteristics. Regional identity in art can be rooted in historical traditions and myth, but, in its contemporary form, it’s formed under the pressure of social, economic and political circumstances. Thus the projects of the Ural artists vividly represent the unique Ural “hybrid” identity, born by our territory as a frontier contact and conflict zone, which combines local and global features.
An image of the industrial city that has been typical of Yekaterinburg-Sverdlovsk since its emergence is nowadays unprepossessing. They have widely replicated the myth of border and unique Ural location, the myth of the Romanovs murder, the myth of power and overcoming – “Ural is a strong territory of the country”. These subjectscan be exploited ad infinitum. Having turned to «industrial» as initially the most significant, excluding frontier status, aspect of Ural, the industrial centre of the country, «the artisan», «craftsman», «mill-hand», we offer the artists to turn to the hi-tech industry, defence, intellectual potential.
In this land of plants and factories they remain just a utopia and a dream about giving each a factory! Artists do not work with everyday life in the industrial zone and “industrial landscape”, but find an impressive romantic image and give birth to it.
Presentation of the project was held at the Ural Youth Museum and at the Ural State University
Opening of the exhibition: (from left to right) Leonid Bazhanov, Evgeny Umansky, Viktor Davydov, Alisa Prudnikova
Ulan Japarov (Bishkek). “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” – exposition in the Ural State University
Group PNK (Kemerovo). “Miner’s Day, or New Carbonari” – exposition in the Ural State University
Vladimir Seleznev (Yekaterinburg). “Unknown Monuments. Cut&Paste Project” – exposition at the Cultural Centre of the Library named after Belinsky
Yevgeny Umansky and Karpenko&Karpenko Group (Kaliningrad) – exposition in the Ural State University
“Ne s ruki” group
Artem Shatunov, Arseny Mazurenko
|© NCCA Kaliningrad branch, Yevgeny Palamarchuk 2007|