04.05.2017 - 10.06.2017

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.


Anna Bralkova