ACCENTS, ACCENTI, АКЦЕНТЫ. Site specific works by Irina Drozd, Andrey Kuzkin, Ivan Plusch

Curated by Dimitri Ozerkov

Irina Drozd «The Code of Silence»

Usually the most fragile groups of the society are the most unspeakable. Should we raise the problem or try to do it invisible? The question Irina Drozd is speaking about in her project is really gentle – this is the question of violence and sexual harassment in abbeys and churches. Should we speak about this? Should the victims who promised to serve the God go against the religious institute that gives the opportunity for such violence? Should the society even being involved? The project «The Code of Silence» raises all these questions which are still very important nowadays even they exist for centuries.

The problem Irina Drozd is speaking about was accepted by Vatican only in February 2019 and the solution has not been found yet. This topic of the artist goes in the dialogue with the sculptures by Marino Marini which shows also women figures full of fragility, faith and strength. By giving this historical point Irina Drozd combines the project with the history of the building where Marino Marini foundation exists – it is a former church which is now turned into the museum of modern artist. All this shows how the history is going into the contemporaneity and the future and through combining this temporal images we can get really complicated symbol. The project consist of three graphic works on canvases which hang on like we usually put the clothes to get dry – on the ropes with clothespins. By this we experience the mixture of materials – canvas looks like fabric but still is is different. This is very gentle approach to the artistic strategies connected with feminist art – to give the hint but not to go so direct. Women figures on the works look a little bit like ghosts sitting round Marino Marini sculpture which is much more solid and visible. This is the story of time passing, past and now, sprint of the place and the questions raised which exist in the past and now and will continue to be unsolved unless they are spoked about so the code of silence has to be broken.

Irina Drozd (1983, Rzhev) graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Art and Design, from the faculty of monumental and decorative painting. Her solo exhibitions have been held at the UVG Gallery, Budapest (2017) and the Erarta Gallery, Zurich (2013). Irina participated in the Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (2017), the 5th Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Arts (2013), and the 14th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, Macedonia (2009). Irina Drozd was nominated for the Kuryokhin Award and the Innovation Award. Her works are shown at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the National Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow, Krasnoyarsk), as well as, private and public collections in Germany, Italy (Museo d’Arte Moderna, Rome), in Russia and the United States (Lenny Kravitz collection).

Andrey Kuzkin “Being on the border of doubts”

To understand my works and, perhaps, the works of other artists from Eastern Europe it is important to take into consideration this mindset: we always have this sense of approaching catastrophe inside us. It’s like an atomic bomb, constantly hanging on a thin cord above your head. This feeling makes any activity senseless… What for should I do something if it is only for a while… A catastrophe can be personal – death, or public – a totalitarian system crushing millions of lives, war, it doesn’t matter… We opted to live with this feeling…
We have no confidence in anything, only doubts …
I am alone and naked, I face the world and I do not understand it. Maybe I want to disappear or be somewhere else, but not in the place where I am. I love nature. Probably I would like to become a plant, a tree, but this desire is absurd… I am looking at myself in the mirror – I only have my own feelings. I have my death, which equalises me with the billions of other people who lived before me. They also felt something and they also thought about something. I think about death. I like to think about death… I feel calm at cemeteries. I do not like the excess of security of European cemeteries. I did not manage to get to the cemetery in Florence, but once I was at Paris cemetery – it looks like a city, where family crypts are like houses, walkways are like streets – everything is beautiful. Our Russian cemeteries are as unsure as all our life, they are crooked, slanting, random… it’s more clear for me. I grew up in this reality.

I studied graphic design (including drawing, painting, and composition) for 5 years, now I use some of these skills in my works. The only difference is that I make the “design” work for myself, to solve my own tasks. I use my own body in performances, as my body is what I am now …
I use bread to create sculptures (human figures), because bread for me is a symbol of the human body. First of all it is connected with the Christian symbol of bread (bread is the symbol of the body of Christ), and with the statement “body is the prison of the soul”, and, secondly, it refers to the Russian prison tradition of sculpting from bread (prisoners in Russia use bread to make necessary things that are prohibited for them – dices, beads, playing cards, etc. because they don’t have access to any other materials). Also in Russia bread is a symbol for food, as it feeds and forms the body… This material is fragile, and it requires careful treatment, as well as the real bod …
A series of drawings of Marino Marini’s sculptures I made in the museum is a kind of a tribute to this excellent sculptor, a tribute to the museum and culture and a tribute to my own education… They were supposed to hang next to the sculptures depicted on them, playing of dome sort of a “mirror”. Unfortunately, it was impossible therefore they are exposed as a work in progress, the mark of my being here …

I try to express my own feelings, emotions, using my works… They are always quite personal… They are often scattered. Contradictory. And I hope that my experience can coincide with the experience of someone from the audience, and thus we both will feel a little less alone in this world. And it gets better from that thought…
When I was going to work at the Marino Marini Museum, I had no clear plan. I did not know exactly what I was going do here. It was a live experience. Ideas of work were born gradually. All works, to the exception of the video documentation of the performance “Everything that is – all mine”, were created here in the Museum. I tried to link the works I created with different techniques into one general installation or overall story, where I am the main character…

Andrey Kuzkin (1979, Moscow) graduated in 2001 from the department of graphic arts of the Moscow University of the Art of Printing. He started exhibiting in 2006, developing his particular style of performative art attracting the attention of critics and curators in 2008 in the field of art “Veretevo” during the Young Biennial “Stop! Who goes there?”. He has shown several important works, including the installation “Circle-wise”, which is remembered as sensational. For several hours Kuzkin walked in a circle in a pool of liquid cement, tied to a stick in the middle. The performance lasted until the artist could no longer tread the cement which started to solidify. Kuzkin himself described the performance as an act of solidarity with the people, forced to carry the harshness of an everyday life so unbearably difficult in his country on their shoulders.

Ivan Plusch «Nine Circles of Living»

The project by Ivan Plusch «Nine Circles of Living» is the parallel to Dante’s «Divine Comedy» but speaks not about the life after death but what we can experience during our existence. The carpet turns, goes ups and downs, creates bows and starts from nowhere and finishes nowhere as our life or existence in this world. This symbol can be read differently: like the life of individual (especially artistic one, like Marino Marini) or the whole history passing or art history as well where the contemporary art is connected with the previous generations. It is like the line from the parallel world also – appearing suddenly in the museum and changing our view to its architecture or Marino Marini works.
You also can see red balls put on different floors, chaotically, being able to change where coordinates inside of the museum. This is one of the main symbols by Ivan Plusch that he uses in his paintings. This is the symbol of childhood which is very important to the artist as it is the base for our further existence and this is the symbol of our genetic code as it has been scatted round the museum and might be combined together.
On the way of the red carpet you can meet three paintings by Ivan Plusch which are done in the dialogue with Marino Marini, the works repeats Marino Marini paintings but in the style by Ivan Plusch. This is the direct dialogue to the artist which shows the connection of the art and artists during the whole way of art developing and changing. The paintings are done in Ivan Plusch style and show the main topic of his as artist: inability to stay in this world forever. This process of passing and disappaering is repeated in his installation made of red carpet.

Ivan Plusch (1981, Leningrad) graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Art and Industry. His solo exhibitions have been held in the RX Gallery, Paris (2017), and in the Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston (2016). He participated in Glasstress Gotika, associated with the 56th Venice Biennial (2015), at the Biennial of contemporary art in Moscow (2014), at the Milan Triennale, at the Kunst im Rohnerhaus (Austria), and at Luther and the Avant-garde (Wittenberg). His works are exhibited at the Hermitage Museum and in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, in the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow and in several private collections. He creates paintings and installations that illustrate the fluidity and the passage of time.