SUBJECT AREA (my curating project about Still-life painting)

This exhibition was opened on 6th of November. Now it has been already finished and all works have gone to their authors back, but I have managed to translate texts about this projects in English only now.

This exhibition was the very first one in the Center of contemporary culture IKRA, that had been opened some days before. IKRA is a non-profit privat initiative, where I am responsible for exhibitional activities. Now we are preparing a project about haptics and touches in field of visual art.

So, let me talk about what "SUBJECT AREA" is, about the main theme, participants and others.

For the very first glance, the Still life genre is simple, but at the same time it is the most philosophic and conceptual ones. Through the Still life an artist can observe ordinary things, which are around us. An artist can notice and admire this slow hide world of objects. Due to historical examples of Still life paintings we can easily imagine how people lived that time. But Still life is not only a description of reality or an enumeration of different objects. Still life can provides us a coded message from the particular artist or the whole epoch. Each depicted subject is a word in the long text that a Still life can be. In history of art we know remarkable examples of Still life painting. Thus, Holland masters showed us skulls and sandglasses as a symbol of limited life time. Cezanne found a model of the world order in one simple apple and Picasso claimed that “even a pan can shout”.

Nowadays Still life genre is still popular. It can be explained with the plenty of artificial thing, which are forming our everyday life. Mass production permanent works and floods our world with thousands objects and their copies. Some devices, which were impossible before, have become usual today. Moreover, people have become more addictive and more depend on their belongings. They want to possess something, got bank loan to buy something, get crazy for something and break rules only for getting something that they adore. Even the nature that seems to be eternal and constant, have changed as well. Our food and products look not like fifty or even ten years ago. If Snyders had paint splendid groceries with abundance of food, a modern artist would likely paint even and rhythmical shelves in the supermarket.

Within the project “SUBJECT AREA” we suggested to our local Irkutsk artist to show their examples of Still life works. Andrey Polyanitza, the potter and painter, experiments with mixed materials. In his works “BUFFET” he melted glass and tried to recognize familiar food images in the abstract spots. Svetlana Bandurka, the photograph, also works with the glass, but in the different way. She makes mini-performances with empty glass bottles who are the main heroes of her stories. Alexey Ruytin is famous for his somber shadowy paintings with decadence aesthetic. Through dark colored oil paintings he shows Still life as something flirty and almost forbidden. Alond with paintings and graphics we are happy to present a video work by young Japanese artist. Masaki Komoto, who currently lives in Amsterdam, shows his work called “Belongings”. This work about how we collect things, which we don’t use anymore, but still cannot trough them away, because they keep some memories.

The openning of the show was sucsessful and croweded with about 70 visitors. Also we provided an educational part of the project - lectures about history of Still life painting and its contemporary forms and showing the film.

Below I have added some pages from the catalogue, that I designed for this project (in Russian only).