Exhibition ” Guise, more than a reality” in the St Peterburg State Museum of Theatre and Music
Curator – Lizaveta Matveeva
is a St. Petersburg based art critic, co-curator at LUDA gallery in Saint Petersburg. She visited Dutch Culture last March to focus on the themes of artist-in-residencies, creative spaces and incubators and self-organizing art initiatives in the Netherlands, but that’s not how we met.
Now she is curating the exhibition ” Guise, more than a reality”and asked me to join with the documentary `Aidaluli, Garik´s House of Creations’. A documentary I made in the late 1990-ies about Garik Kolomeichuk, a Russian artist,performer and founder of the underground artist´movement called Aidaluli. I am happy to join and thrilled to go. It has been years since I visited St. Petersburg, the city where I lived 4 years to make my first film, The River Okkervil, based on a Russian story written by Tatyana Tolstaya. Those years I met many the artists and filmmakers of the Russian subculture, Garik Assa being one of them. In the mid-80s the intoxicating air of freedom provoked an unprecedented rise of underground culture in Soviet Russia. The mingling of Avant-Garde artists, musicians, representatives of various subcultures – of punk, rock, the New Wave – gave birth to a unique phenomenon of alternative fashion with shows often turning into performances. For Garik making art was a way to survive Soviet Russia life and make people think and create indepently. When communism was replaced by kapitalism he lost his work and later his unfortunately life.
The exhibition project “Guise, more than a reality”
builds a thin connection between contemporary performance art and Futurism, the avant-garde aesthetics and ritual practices, folk costume, ritual masks. The avant-gardists urged to break with tradition, but retain a genuine interest in archaic and folk art. Today, their art becomes a bridge between aesthetics masking rituals and performances of modern “entertainers” – artists.
The exhibition to “ Guise more than a reality” explores the boundaries of the human image from ritual masks from Petrograd to the avant-garde, from the colored people of the Futurists to contemporary artists who work with her guise as a work of art. Historical costumes and masks from the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography will coexist with the images created by Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky, David Burliuk, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Vladimir Tatlin, Garik Assa, Sergei Kuryokhin, Alexander Petlyura, Vladislav Mamyshev Monroe, Andrey Bartenev, Jeanne Aguzarovoj and many others.
The exhibition combines contemporary artists with artifacts from the Museum of ethnography , folk ritual masks and costumes. The exhinition will show futuristic experiments as a historical foreword: piece of Mayakovsky’s shirt from the museum named after him, photos of Larionov and Goncharova, sketches for theater performances by Tatlin etc. Also, as a preview part which will show the experimental art-projects of the beginning of 20 century, original Malevich’ sketches for his Victory over sun will be exhibited. So, the exhibition has a strong historical base, necessary when you show contemporary art in Russia.
The main part of the project includes costumes, accessories, installations, photographs and videos of local artists, experimenting on their guises in 1980-90-ies, and those who use this creative strategy today.
Exhibitors: Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Olga Rozanova, David Burliuk, Ilya Zdanevich, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Vladimir Tatlin, Sergei Parajanov, Gosh Ostretsov, Garik Assa , Sergei Chernov, Sergey Kurehin, Sergei Bugaev-Africa, Alexander Petlura, Vladislav Mamyshev Monroe, Andrey Bartenev, Jeanne Aguzarova.
Text about the exhibition «Guise, more than a reality» by Lizaveta Matveeva