The world in which we reside is like a junction station from which the rails and sleepers point in extremely varied directions. To Machu Picchu, and to Chattanooga, and to the First, Second and Third Rome, and to the unrecognized Transdniester Republic, and to Paris-New-York-Sidney-Tokyo-Milan, and to simply Delhi, and to New Delhi, and to Nothing, Arizona, and to Mecca, and to the Moon. Or even further.
We sit at the station, chewing tobacco and gum, cracking seeds and spitting out the husks all around us. From time to time, a husky voice announces: “The train to Monaco leaves at 28.96 with the binario No. 007. The train to Cambre-La Madeleine is delayed. It will leave from Platform One at 03.03 on the 17th of Marvember of Year Zero of the Common Era. Please prepare your tickets and identity documentation, and inform the security service of any luggage that does not belong to you.”
Today, I don’t want to go to Chattanooga, I have no reason to go to Monaco, and even Nothing, Arizona doesn’t attract me. Although it would be tempting, of course, to become the fourth inhabitant of Nothing. And I don’t need Madeleine cakes until the day after tomorrow, when the tea bags run out.
No, I want to go to heaven. To where the birds in angelic accord chirp, caw, wail and sing. Where the heavens reign over the world, penetrated by a golden light of good favor. I won’t accept anything less. But here the husky voice announces: “Passenger Alexeev, your ticket to heaven has been annulled, as you have a poor credit history. Collect your bags from the left luggage room, you are expected in Office No. Zero.”
I hope that everything will turn out better for you. Think in advance about how not to end up in Office No. Zero at the junction station waiting for your transport.
Nikita Alexeev Welcome to Paradise, under the Golden Skies
Alexander Vinogradov Città Ideale
Galerie Iragui presents, “Città Ideale”, the first solo exhibition of celebrated Russian painter Alexander Vinogradov at the gallery. The exhibition takes cue from the eponymous unattributed Renaissance paintings, as a blueprint for the shift from the medieval town to the modern city: geometric patterns, abstract criteria and scientific approaches, often riddled with utopian tension. For Vinogradov, born and raised in the Moscow of the second half of the twentieth century, this ideal city is the new Moscow: A city that was destroyed and re-built for the monumental architecture of the future, and the Great Utopia.
At the heart of the exhibition, major unfinished and unrealized architectural projects from the Soviet period, are showcased by the artist in a new series of drawings, depicting present day's Moscow with its capitalist shock-culture, but in an alternative utopian future. The “Città Ideale” project is complemented with two painterly gestures: The abstraction of images in the course of a journey in between different cities in Russia, and some works from the earlier series, depicting modern life in Italy, in high socialist realist style, almost passing a satirical examination on late capitalist culture.
After several decades living and working in Moscow as a part of the Dubossarsky Vinogradov duo, the artist relocated to Italy, and painting solo, where distance from the tumultuous everyday life of the city, has become an inward gaze: The reconstruction of a future ideal Moscow, is also deconstruction. All memory has already become partly fiction, situated in the indeterminate space between utopia and propaganda. Vinogradov's roots in figuration, also reveal paradox: Running against the conceptualism of the 1990s, is it possible to depict reality at all without its boundaries collapsing?
At moments, the reconstruction of the city is not only historical-physical but also emotional-psychic, how could the destiny of this city be changed or averted? In 1927, Walter Benjamin traveled to revolutionary Moscow, and jotted down a diary of his impressions of urban life under the conditions of modernity -monumental architecture beyond human scale, a 19th century dream from which 'we must awake'. A dialogue on Benjamin's text leads to unexpected archaeological findings on the field of the future, understanding the tension of utopia as a longing for a remote, infinite, ever-recurring past.
Wild Flowers (wildness is contextual!) – Volume II (grow flowers!)
Galerie Iragui is pleased to present Wild Flowers (wildness is contextual!) - volume II (Grow Flowers!) curated by Carlos Noronha Feio. The exhibition brings together work by thirteen international artists from different generations who work in a number of different
mediums. Each work chosen by Noronha Feio for the show examines the motif of the
This exhibition has its origins in Noronha Feio's interest in flora as a representation of
power. On the surface of the show, the naïve and sentimental aesthetic value of the
flower presents itself as a deceptive cover over the deeper conceptual research that the
works truly look into. For example, Marte Eknæs’ video Rainbow Rose, 2012, shows an alternative use for 3D modeling software that was until recently primarily used by the military. Neil Haas’ blind sculptural painting presents us with flowers as counterbalance to his studies of young male streetwise forms of masculinity. Harm van den Dorpel’s work is not touched by his hand, it is rather produced as a consequence of software, algorithms, van den Dorpel devises. Albuquerque Mendes presents what is perhaps the most classical work in the exhibition, a canvas of sunflowers from a series titled The Silly Paintings, where Mendes alludes to the work of other artists, through subtle variations in the mode of painting the elements of the composition in each work of the series. The title of Volume II of this exhibition is in itself an allusion to the beautifully crafted ambiguity of Poem about Flowers by Soviet nonconformist Genrikh Sapgir (1928-1999).
At galerie Iragui, Noronha Feio’s Wild Flowers present several artists that require no local introduction: Olga Chernysheva, Nikita Alexeev, Georgy Litichevsky, and the younger Ilya Dolgov are house hold names that in this exhibition are contrasted with artists such as Lulou Margarine, Daniel van Straalen and Dan Mitchell.
This is an exhibition that has flowers as its core, as its leitmotif, a recurring visual that plays with beauty to present the artists different identities, subjectivities and interests.
Nikita Alexeev (b. 1953 lives and works in Moscow, Russia)
Olga Chernysheva (b.1962 lives and works in Moscow, Russia)
Ilya Dolgov (b. 1984 lives and works in Kronshtadt, Russia)
Harm van den Dorpel (b. 1981 lives and works in Berlin)
Marte Eknæs (b. 1978 lives and works in Norway)
João Ferro Martins (b.1979 lives and works in Lisbon, PT)
Neil Haas (b. 1971 lives and works London, UK)
Georgy Litichevsky (b. 1956 lives and works in Moscow, Russia and Berlin, Germany)
Lulou Margarine (b. 1984 lives and works in New York, USA)
Albuquerque Mendes (b.1953 lives and works in Porto, PT)
Dan Mitchell (b.1966 lives and works in London, UK)
Carlos Noronha Feio (b. 1981 lives and works in London, UK and Lisbon, PT)
Daniel van Straalen (b. 1987 lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands)