Sergey Shekhovtsov "Short Cut"
June 14 - August 11, 2013
Curator: Elena Selina
As a part of the program demonstrating large-scale personal exhibitions of Russian artists, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation and XL Projects presented the project by Sergey Shekhovtsov "Short Cut".
Sergey Shekhovtsov is one of the most prominent artists of the contemporary art scene. He participated in more then a hundred Russian and international exhibitions, including the 26-th Biennale in San Paulo (2004), Festival "Evropalia 2005", he was also one of the artists represented at the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2009).
Sergey Shekhovtsov's "Short Cut" at Ekaterina Cultural Foundation is the first artist’s large-scale solo exhibition in Moscow. At the show were presented more than 40 artworks - sculptures, art objects and installations had been created over the past ten years. Sergey Shekhovtsov studied to be a painter, but became one of the most famous contemporary sculptors. He uses the most "soft" materials for his works - foam and foam plastic.
"In 2001 there was a feeling that the world is a soft, amorphous and deceptive matter. And in my first project I aimed to show, that the surrounding world is an illusion... Overall it was a pop-artistic saying while the using of graffito instrument in the work with the material has heightened a sense of illusion. The most important things were the texture and the story about softness and hardness. I have been watching, analyzing and, I think, have made a right choice in general and in the material it can be used to create a whole world and can be used this way or that way. And it has its own philosophy. But over the time all of this became not so important, I started to masque the material make it look like gypsum, plastic. Any fake can be done. The foam material can be a source of many various ideas."
(from the interview with Sergey Shekhovtsov to Faina Balakhovskaya)
A personal exhibition for every artist is some kind of research of his own creative work, self-examination and summing-up. The space of the exhibition halls of the Foundation became for Sergey Shekhovtsov the starting point for building exhibition dramaturgy which can be defined as a gradual transition, genre-transformation of the piece of sculpture or a single art object into installation. The title of the exhibition – "Short Cut" – corresponds to the artist’s task and to the type of exhibition organization. The exhibition consists of works represented individually at different exhibition spaces, but in each particular case every installation was undergoing or underwent a formal and therefore a meaning transformation, reinstalls according the place and time of the exhibition.
Soft materials could easily be transformed, or "short cut", its flexibility allows the artist not only to shift the meanings, but also to transform a sculpture into installation and vice versa. Thus both plasticity of materials and the talent of the author allow almost in every exhibition to expand or phase down a work according to the artist’s plan and put on the first place the dramaturgy of space organization as a main "instrument". The show was not only the usual chronological parade of works but rather an attempt to highlight the major themes and motifs, emphasize the meanings and construct both the formal space and freedom of interpretation for each work.
"Short Cut" is an exhibition about Time in the literal and figurative sense of the word, its variability, fluidity and continual mixing and shifting of the meanings. Installation "Throne", stuffed with video cameras in a different context and using the method of "short installation" could be interpreted as "the alien throne" with clear reference to the fiction film "Tron", while the dogs running to the "Throne" as a scene from animal’s life on the periphery of urban areas, and the artwork "Big Battle" as an inner space of computer shooter game. But in the end in the context of the exhibition these works are transformed into very tough and partly pessimistic assessment of the reality: the specific features of life in a large metropolis, the political climate in the country and foreboding of future world cataclysms...
On view as the most known artworks of the artist "Metro", "ATM", installation "Cinema", "Throne", "Big Battle" and "Easy Rider" first shown at the Venice Biennale as most recent art objects and installations.
On June 15 within the frameworks of the exhibition "Short Cut" at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation passed a public meeting with the artist. Sergey Shehovtsov told the audience about his creativity work, about the periods in art history which attracted his attention, about his idea to create sculptures from short-life and waste material, showed his earliest works and demonstrated demonstrated how to create a work of art from a piece of foam.