Babi Badalov was born in 1959 in Lerik, Azerbaijan. He has lived and worked in Paris since 2008.
In the 1980s, he moved to Leningrad where he discovered an alternative Russian art scene. In 1990, he participated in the exhibition “New St. Petersburg artists” at gallery Műcsarnok (Budapest), and the following year he held his first solo exhibition in Oregon. Travelling and a migrant status in the United States of America and the United Kingdom became one of the themes of his artistic practice.
Babi Badalov’s “Visual Poetry” was presented at 11th Gwangju biennial (2016), at the Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (2015), at Manifesta 8 (2010). His solo exhibitions include such projects as To Make Art To Take Clothes Off at MUSAC – museum cont. art Leon, Spain (2017), For the Wall For the World at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016), Partisanism at Tensta Konsthall, Stokholm (2016), MIGRANT POETRY at La Station, Nice, France (2015). His works are in the collections of the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg (Russia), the Museum of Contemporary Art MuHKA in Antwerp (Belgium), the Zimmerli Art Museum (New Jersey, USA).
Using the individual method, Babi Badalov in his practice explores language as a medium and creates linguistic poetry built on visual, semantic and conceptual similarity.
Babi Badalov will create an in-situ work in mixed media technique and will also make an installation of the works on fabric made specifically for this project. The exposition will also introduce a series of collages made specifically for this exhibition.
*«When I die, there will be no access to me»
Important to notice that in russian language the dot between "um" and "ru" transformes the whole sense of the word "umru" - "I will die" into "um", which means "knowledge". ".ru" is a domain name for webpages hosted in Russia.
Born 1959, Lerik, Azerbaijan, live in Paris
As a visual artist, poet he expresses his ideas through visual poetry, art objects, installations and live performances. He also experiments with words and writes obscure poetry, mixing languages and images of different cultures. Babi Badalov’s work often is dedicated to linguistic explorations researching the limits of language and the borders it imposes upon its users and based on his personal experience of linguistic inconveniences while travelling. In foreign countries, we often come across words written in the same alphabet as ours, but with different meaning, sound or pronunciation. His visual poetry often takes the form of a diary, created every day through a combination of his own linguistic research of manipulated pictorial material, mainly with political content. The nomad life of an artist (or traveler, migrant, refugee) does not only cause him or her a struggling adaptation period of cultural integration, but can primarily turn him or her into a prisoner of language. Badalov’s projects play with this kind of linguistic notions in order to emphasize larger geo-political questions.
Babi Badalov Kogda ya um.ru, ko mne dostupa ne budet
Babi Badalov was born in 1959 in Lerik, Azerbaijan. He has lived and worked in Paris since 2008.
Olga Chernysheva Attunements
First solo show of Olga Chernysheva at Galerie Iragui
4.09. - 24.10.2017
How does the impulse to draw something begin? This question, akin to asking what makes an artist an artist, is posed by the British art historian John Berger in his book of musings on drawing and his attitude to reality, “Bento’s Sketchbook”, and then he goes on to provide an astute answer. According to Berger, drawing is a form of investigation where one can feel one’s way. The first impulse to draw usually comes from a human need to carry out a search, to place points on a paper, to find a place for things and for oneself. . Drawing entered Olga Chernysheva’s artistic practice in the 1980s when she was studying to become an animation artist at VGIK (the All-Russian State University of Cinematography), and then, after a break, she returned to it, raising it to what is now an indisputable place alongside the photography, video and painting that brought the artist international renown in the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s. Freed of its traditional ancillary role as a sketch for a future work, the drawing in Chernysheva’s work didn’t just acquire an expressive independence, it also passed over its borders and formed an entire artistic approach in itself as a resource that forces one, according to the artist, “to create the entire world anew […] from familiar items that, as a rule, already exist,” echoing Berger’s definition. Art, for Olga Chernysheva, is to a large extent a thought process in which the eye participates on a par with the hand, and an ability to conceive in images that are capable of finding their embodiment in any material-spatial form. Thus, the fact that the artist programmatically refuses to draw dividing lines in her work between different media and often combines them within the frameworks of separate projects and exhibitions – and this exhibition at Galerie Iragui serves as confirmation of this – appears to be no coincidence.
Olga Chernysheva’s work is born out of an attentive gaze that doesn’t neglect the minor or insignificant and notices similarities, however grotesque they might seem to be, as in the renowned photo-series “Waiting For a Miracle” (2000), where women’s knitted hats look like exotic cactuses. The title “Attunements”, which brings together the drawings and photographic prints presented in the gallery, references a special optics for the gaze that allows us to notice a shriveled oyster on a homeless person’s stall (from the series “Objects. Overcoat”, 2017), to consider the landscape that opens up to us from the cabin of a man on duty at a metro station (from the series “Landscape that opens up from the window of a man on duty at a station”, 2017) and to make out faces and patterns in the dirty markings on a tiled floor left by the footwear of passengers on the metro (“Attunements”, 2013). These works (the artist calls her drawings “environmental”) tune the viewer in, but they also exist as a result of special settings of the eye, which is at once sensitive to the most everyday reality and to formal games that are hidden within its depths. “In the world there are repetitions, and I’m interested in similarities,” explains Chernysheva.
Built on similarities, the pictures presented reproduce the mechanisms in the working of memory. We note and remember certain details which build up into a seemingly whole image, but remembering the expression of a person’s eyes that defines their image for us, we can’t remember the shape of that person’s nose. The memory establishes special relations between the fragment and the whole, like those between reality and abstraction. The remembered image that is conveyed by Chernysheva’s drawings is founded on the reality of the abstraction, the sediment and remainder of what is seen that emphasizes the main thing (the fragment), preserving the link with the general (the whole) that is blown in on a draft of air. The tension that is inherent in the drawing between the concrete form and the abstract image that is conveyed by the strokes (the photographic prints presented at the exhibition are in many ways close to drawings), reflect the struggle which, according to the artist’s own admission, the abstract is waging in her works with the “human” or “personal.” In Chernysheva’s works, the “human” not only wins, dragging the fur coat, hat and other items belonging to a person along after it, it also becomes stronger and more expressive through the inclusion of abstraction within it – thus, the absurd sphere on the head of a person covered in advertising billboards, ready to disappear like an inflatable ball into the sky and fly off in a gust of wind like a dandelion, overcoming the force of gravity of its shadow (“Service”, 2017), eloquently demonstrates the inexorable form of life, becoming a part of post-Soviet reality. At the center of the majority of the artist’s works there is a lonely character whose dark contour stands out from the mass of people or the surrounding landscape; it finds itself alone with itself and vulnerable in its intimacy which has been left ajar. But here an artist comes to his aid because, as has already been noted repeatedly in texts on Chernysheva, her works possess an undoubted sympathy for her characters, and her gaze is this very same “humanity.”
In this sense, Olga Chernysheva’s drawing resonates incredibly precisely with the essence of her art and the tonality of her work in a way that the works of few other modern artists can. The rough hatching left by the charcoal on the paper, showing through and looking to disappear, filling the emptiness of the sheet with its fragile presence – this is whispered conversation and confiding intimacy, free of any aesthetic gloating, loud self-affirmation and the haughty knowledge of an outside observer. In other words, this is a very human art that invokes restraint (the signatures stuck over the top of the pictures, which, in the artist’s conception, should “extinguish their uniqueness, bring them down a peg,” play their role here). This is a dedication to the insignificant, to the barely discernible, to the flickering and vague that are blurted out in story about something that is important. In such stories, as John Berger notes, the mystery is not worked out, but passed on, the body of an individual has the same relationship to a community of people, and characters don’t fulfill a role, they fight for survival, and win.
Daria Krotova Harvesting Rain
Judging by the title of the exhibition of the Moscow artist Daria Krotova – Harvesting Rain – one will have every reason to assume that it is dreamingly poetic or paradoxically metaphysical. But the origin of the title seems to be very mundane – from the routine practice known to many country house dwellers of collecting rainwater, especially where there is no or unreliable running water, and the well water is also hard and complicated to get.
In the center of the exhibition there is the same group of objects – threads that imitate rain streams falling from the ceiling into the bowls on the floor, or more precisely, the models of bowls made of unbaked clay. Here again we are tempted to recall the ancient Roman impluviums – cisterns for collecting rainwater in the atriums of ancient “domus”, and “Music on the Water” – installation of Ilya Kabakov and Vladimir Tarasov, who collected dripping water from the ceiling. But Daria Krotova's project does not aim so much at archetypical culturological meditations or direct dialogue with other artists, as at articulation of her own country life experience. The process and results of this articulation lead to the discovery of other (probably) unsteady positions, alternative to known archetypes, and the artist's voice acquires special intonations suggesting the possibility of new aesthetic shifts.
The artist focuses on the study of such shifts as well as shifts as a method, an analogue of the ban on formalists-OPOJAZians. All the exhibited items are represented in the state of shift. The rainwater is collected into containers that, without being baked, will become soaked and caked, turn into wet shapeless clay. A glass with a toothbrush and a wet towel are made of faience and soar above and in front of the washbasin instead of standing or hanging on it. They are joined by the rubber wet gloves and worn out flip-flops that became ceramic, by the legs of the country house dweller that separated from the rest of the body and are waiting for the evening ablution, and, finally, 24 ceramic tiles folding into a large wall panel, with white silhouettes of mosquitoes on a dark background – former shadows, phantoms of country nights with their mixture of enjoying fresh after-rain air and buzzing-winged insomnia.
Turning to the realities of country life, the artist follows, on the one hand, the latest trends of the world art, aimed at merging with worldly everyday life, and on the other, makes her artistic contribution to the local tradition of country house culture, consecrated by the names of Chekhov, Gorky, Pasternak. Daria Krotova’s plastic images complement the culture developed, first of all, in the literary and theatrical terms. This special local culture of Russian country house dwellers developed back then as an alternative to the traditional cultures of the village and the estate, as well as of the urban civilization where the country house dwellers come from originally. Imbued with personalistic nostalgia for harmony with nature, it certainly did not lead to the return of the golden age and was, in fact, a modern and at the same time a decadent shift in an unknown direction. For almost a century and a half since its foundation, this culture has acquired a multilayered peculiar objectivity and psycho-poetics
Denis Stroev Administrative Ecology
The first solo exhibition of the artist Denis Stroev – a graduate of the Baza Institute of Contemporary Art and a participant of Russian and international group exhibitions – consists of six objects created in the morphological collage technique. Hefty stones collected at mountain roads, skeletons of animals, plasticreate models of guts somehow interact with patterns and colors of flags. On this journey, the artist is engaged into administrative-material ecology: he collects objects of reality and its formal signs. The two experiences are in parity and, encountering in sculpture, they capture the basic laws of ecology: “Everything is connected to everything” and “Nothing disappears into nowhere”. The flag covers a stone or a skeleton of a bat escapes from the fabric of the flag? Guts-Uroboros is the leader of the agents of the visible ecosystem equilibrium.
The objects that at first glance look like heavyweight, bright, chthonic school mock-ups for biology and social studies classes, become Telegram stickers-icons for the actor-network theory channel. Collages work like proverbs in which “to destroy one’s soul” and “to destroy one’s guts” are the same thing: guts, like giblets, mean the most valuable elementary things, including courage, intuition, foundation – pretty much like the stone laid in the foundation of ground and any temple. The cornerstones – the flag, the guts, the skeleton – are the constituent elements of duty within us and the keystone of the perception of the starry sky. The old pain of European philosophy – appeasement of passions – is eliminated by the artist by representing the guts as a full-fledged artifact. Maybe we'll replace our imperfect insides with metal perfect ones, or maybe we’ll just transplant the brain into it and declare the new hybrid organ a superhuman.
If we are afraid of not finding a point of support in the humanitarian tradition, inside of which Shakespeare is retold through emoji, terraformation of Mars is planned, and the digitization of the soul is impossible, then the artist's objects appear in this fear as the pillars-terminus of our logos, building a flat dynamic network of relations. The guts and senses are equal, the flags of states defend against pirates, and the artist, as a dispassionate non-naturalist, collects an atlas textbook for the fifth element and builds a platform for creating a space messenger like the Cosmic Call project. The exposition as a natural science hall is a model of a hybrid world in which the encounter of human and nonhuman is legalized as an everyday event.
Arkadiy Nasonov Last Straw or the Plot Twist
What you see is by no means a completed project. It is just a beginning, try-out, laboratory experiments in the genre of "co-spatial" art. These are just the first attempts to cross organisms, called plots or plot lines. Indeed, these blots are similar to the unicellular organisms under a microscope, although, in fact, they are certainly the multicellular ones. At these first stages, of course, I faced many complications that took the form of questions. Does the title always dominate the story? Should one consider a plot within another plot as an equal hero, or is it gradually absorbed into the plot background? How does the more dramatically structured plot contain internal micro-stories? I will have to answer these and hundred other questions in the future. So far, no conclusions... Only questions.
Vladimir Fedorov, Maria Lvova Dazibao & Landscapes
MIKA’s first encounter with the oeuvre of Vladimir Fedorov was while preparing a show of graphic works of Odessa proto-conceptualist artist from the collection of Petr Shirkovskiy, as a part of Manifesta 10 parallel program. In that catalogue we wrote that “conceptual art in Odessa was invented in the late 1970s by two classmates, Vladimir Fedorov and Alexei Kotsaevsky. In 1982 Fedorov introduced Leonid Voitcekhov to Sergey Anufriev, giving rise to an art group that is known in the history of Russian art as Southern branch of Moscow conceptualist movement”.
Vladimir Fedorov is mostly known as a senior inspector of a group “Medicinal Hermeneutics”, co-author of many of group’s text and installations, including the famous “Empty Icons”, shown at the Venice Biennale. In the second volume of “Hollow Canon”, collection of MH texts published by Herman Titov, in the paragraph “MH structure” it is said that “V. Fedorov, apart from serving as “senior inspector of MH”, also holds the status of “MH’s precious fetish”.
The “Dazibao & Landscapes” exposition is constructed as a dialogue between two authors. It includes Vladimir Fedorov’s suprematist works which were made within the Pavel Pepperstein’s “natsuprematist” project and were partly shown in “Futurologia. Russian utopias” project at CCC Garage in 2010, five landscapes by Moscow-based artist Mariya Lvova, painted in spring 2016 in reply to those older works, and Fedorov’s new canvases from 2017 — which serve as a response in the dialogue, however, not yet the closing one.
In the summer of 1915, while working on The Last Futuristic Art Exhibition "0,10", Olga Rosanova wrote to Alexey Kruchenykh: "One may say about Malevich that "they want to seem educated and talk about something incomprehensible". And also: there is more rationality and intellectualizing in his creative work, than in anyone else's. But if for anyone else it's not a sin, for a person, who denounced intelligence at a public lecture, it is not permissible”. In fact, in the book "The secret sins of academics", published the same year, Malevich stated: "I denounce soul and intuition as unnecessary and, at a public lecture on February 19th 1914, I denounced intelligence”.
In December 1915, when the atmosphere around the preparation of the exhibition was tense to the limit, Rosanova wrote to Kruchenykh: "Suprematism is completely my stuff, combination of flats, lines and disks (especially disks) without adding of and real objects. And after that all this scum is concealing my name…" This centennial accusation of plagiarism is practically interesting as a testimonial of the revolutionary times when great many artists independently came to the notion of the old world falling apart, refusing to perceive an object or word as whole. “Painting died like an old State” (Malevich).
Blank canvases that topped off the UNOVIS part of the 1923 exhibition in the Academy of Arts under the name “Suprematist Mirror”, and the treatise of the same name, became the quintessence of Malevich’s suprematist philosophy. Blank canvas, just as the Black Square, serves as a manifestation of the Zero of forms, Nada, Nothing: own Self expands to the size of the Universe and becomes one with it in a “rhythmical excitement”. All is Nothing, and Nothing is comprised of All.
The mesmerising paradox of the avant-garde is that professing such a “thickly spoken” recension of Zen Buddhism could not stop Malevich, from flinging himself into formalist construction of the new world, alongside with emerging constructivists (“Revolution and Suprematism are two poles of one world”). Though Malevich reproached Lisitskiy in his letter of June 17th 1924 ("You broke the contract as well; you, constructor, got scared by Suprematism... and what is now - constructivist-installer; where you got to? wanted to free your personality, your Self, from everything that I did, but instead you got to Gan, to Rodchenko, became a constructor, not even a prounist”), it does not seem so hard for a common man to mix up Malevich’s Architectons with any other example of constructivist architecture, while suprematist buddhism, in general, materialised into design and decorative-applied arts: remember the artel in Ukrainian village Verbovka, where most of embroidery and appliqué was made after suprematist designs. It is porcelain and textiles that made Suprematism one of the most recognised displays of modern Russian culture in the West.
Therefore only Suprematism, unmistakably perceived in the West as “Russian”, was chosen by Pavel Pepperstein as a ground base for a new representative “Russian” style, named “national suprematism”, or “natsuprematism” (even the dates of the first natsuprematist exhibition, “Either - Or”, coincide with the dates of “0,10”). Suprematist elements in Pepperstein’s designer treatment become objects again (that could be stepped on, in particular) and even reach the level of a personage, become a subject character equitable to the Hollywood gangster (while subject in painting is something Malevich went against).
Suprematist canvases by Vladimir Fedorov, senior inspector of the group “Medicinal Hermeneutics”, seem to follow the “natsuprematist” designs of his colleague: they depict objects like yachts and a moon-walker placed onto a suprematist landscape with a clear line of the horizon, and put ou political skits, like the “Crisis” dazibao* — while five canvases made especially for the exhibition by Marya Lvova go back from design to painting again. Supremas in the works of Lvova does not destroy the realist landscape, are not applied to it, but serve as a main instrument of constructing the landscape, therefore becoming a perfect commentary on Vladimir Fedorov’s oeuvre of constructing new topological and rhetorical figures.
Moscow Institute of Kosmic Anomalities
- handwritten, wall-mounted posters using, used as a means of protest, propaganda, and popular communication.
Mitya Nesterov is a Moscow-based photographer and curator, founder of the Moscow Institute of Kosmic Anomalities - virtual community, whose curatorial projects include shows at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, "The Apothekaries' Garden" (the Botanic Gardens of Moscow State University), Galerie Iragui (Moscow), Zvezdotchka space (Saint-Petersburg). Со-founder of Moschaos art center in Moscow.
Maria Arendt, Daria Krotova, Georgy Litichevsky, Dmitry Bulnygin, Laure Debrosse, Alexei Iorsh FUSION
Exhibition FUSION assembles six contemporary artists living in Moscow. Each of them is working in different technics: emroidery, video, sculpture, textile, drawing, photography and painting. Curator of the exhibition Donatien de Rochambeau is a french expert and collector of original comics and cartoon celluloids. Each artist was suggested to integrate a part of the other author's work.
Artists on their works and co-authors:
"It’s a work about love. In Laure Debrosse’s work, a heart pierced by an arrow. The heart is a gaping hole through which you can see another, open heart. It’s also open through-and-through. The following layer is a watercolor heart. That layers it up."
"In Dasha’s works, I can feel how interested she is by the expressivity of inner organs implying invisible processes. When I created a frame-accurate animation and projected on a typical for her work form, I have basically created a handbook about our vision of art."
"I dived into Maria, Daria and Dmitry artworks, three worlds of their own. I took from it what I could see in their abstraction and in the expression of their most intimate features. I set the pictures one next to the other. They got to blend with one another and rest. Once, a lady came out of it, at night, quietly, inconspicuously, in another abstract expressivity than the works she had been borrowed from. This lady, I called her Fusion."
"In her works, Laure catches the melancholy of Russian landscapes with an impressive accuracy. It took me a bit of time before I could determine the right technique to drag out the very essence from her photographs: I found it – a combination of graphics and a simple wooden lightbox. Regarding the pictures, they’re turned inwards and can be seen only when the light is on inside the box."
"Daria Krotova focuses on the shifting of objects, so to say, the shadows of things that she either emphasizes in ceramics or replicates literally as «shadows of shadows». My pictures and characters, just as hypothetic as in comics can either be shadows of objects or objectivized abstract ideas. Pictures of fish, creatures commonly viewed as «shades in the sea», are often can be found in mine and Dasha’s works and now, they’ve jumped into the new ocean of a common art project."
Maria Arendt (born 1968) is an artist who works with embroidery and textiles. She grew up in the family of famous sculptors and painters in the town of artists on Maslovka. The artist integrates the photographs by Laure Debrosse, drawings by Daria Krotova and the motives of Georgy Litichevsky into her embroidery.
Dmitry Bulnygin (born 1965) holds a degree in architecture. He mostly works with video art and painting. To a greater extent he uses a video mapping technique. Dmitry will project his video onto Daria Krotova-Schlosser's sculptures.
Laure Debrosse (born 1976) is a French photographer, graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts Saint-Luc in Tournai (Belgium) and the École du Louvre in Paris. The artist creates mosaics from the details selected by her in the works of Dmitry Bulnygin, Daria Krotova-Schlosser and Maria Arendt.
Daria Krotova-Schlosser (born 1971) is an artist who works with paper and ceramics. She studied art and neuropsychology in France, USA and Russia. Her sculptures will be mixed with the painting by Georgy Litichevsky.
Georgy Litichevsky (born 1956) holds a degree in history. He has been painting since 1974. In 1985-1986 G.Litichevsky collaborated with the group «Detsky Sad». In 1986 he founded an art group “George&George” together with G. Ostretsov. From 1990 to 1992 he was a member of BOLI, in 2005-2010 organized performances as a member of a perform-group “Zianida”. Since 1993 he has been one of the editors of “The Art Journal”, founded by Viktor Miziano. As a contemporary artist he uses the comics techniques and methods.
Alexei Iorsh (born 1963) is an artist, supporter of punk culture. One of the pioneers in modern comics and street art in Russia. He integrates Laure Debrosse's photographs into the light-box drawn by him.