Galerie Iragui would like to present at the booth canvases of Nikita Alexeev and Pavel Pepperstein and embroideries of Maria Arendt. The dialogue of these three artists is developed around the question about a role of Russia for the world community and what could be Russia’s symbol. For several years artists have been interrogating on this matter and the question is still not closed.
Moscow conceptualist Nikita Alexeev takes this question as a subject matter in his ironic series «Russian Moon Hares». He proposes a symbol of Russia to be a hare – ”partly similar to heraldic two-headed eagle of Russia, so one heads to the West, another to the East”. Alexeev points out that hare’s long ears always listen rumors from the West, the East, the North and the South, and a hare is in constant research for its own identity (comparing himself with French Lapin Agile, British White Rabbit, American Brer Rabbit).
Maria Arendt suggests using Russian avant-garde architecture - both constructed and imaginary - as the symbol of the state. In her embroideries she interprets the classic "symbols" of 20th century Russian culture (Vladimir Tatlin's Monument to the Third International, Vladimir Shukhov's radio tower, the Palace of the Soviets by Boris Iofan and the Vesnin brothers etc.). These canonical masterpieces of Russian architecture have settled in people’s consciousness. According to the curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary art in Moscow Ekatherina Inozemtseva, approachable scale of Arendt’s works makes the viewer feel at ease with these otherwise imposing giants, so the great utopia becomes familiar, comprehensible, and avant-guarde architecture reveals its truly iconic nature.
In Pavel Pepperstein’s vision, a symbol of Russia can be Russian avant-garde in a wider sense.
As head of Contemporary art department at State Hermitage Museum in Saint-Petersburg Dmitry Ozerkov notices, “the futurology at the heart of Pepperstein’s work rests on two pillars : faith in avant-garde ideals and a belief in the existence of evil forces that assault this faith”. Pepperstein is concerned with an ideal society – ecosocialism – that will be built in the Russia of future, in which everything will be painted in bright, absolute, Russian Suprematism colors. This approach is clearly seen in his work “Column”.