1–16 JUNE / SMALL EXHIBITION HALL
VERNISSAGE: 1 JUNE / 17:00
The Zarya Center for Contemporary Art presents a new exhibition dedicated to Vladivostok and its main components, deconstructing and reconstituting the theme of the city through different media, including documentary photography, painting and sculptural objects.
The morphology of Vladivostok seems to come down to three basic components: shrubbery and trees; walls of brick, concrete or plastic; and cars – specifically those of Asian origin. The stark contrast between the natural, the architectural and the technological is what distinguishes this “city of the triumphant motorist” in the Russian urban landscape. The photographic mini-catalogue presents the formula for typical city views according to the scheme of “tree-wall-car,” laying bare the mechanisms of the formation of both the urban environment and our perception of it.
A different type of urban “wall” can be found in the three mosaic stelae on Kalinina street, courtesy of artists Alexey Onufrienko and Anatoly Katsuk. Commissioned in 1980 by Viktor Lomakin, the First Secretary of the Primorsky Krai’s Communist Party, these monumental panels were dedicated to the workers of Primorye: the sailers, the builders, the fishermen. Today these monuments of Late Soviet Modernism are in a state of decay, with crumbling smalt and a bare concrete brick foundation, witness to the dying and shedding of the next “cultural” layer: graffiti.
Within the exhibition space, paintings stand in for urban flora, as the abstract yellow-green-pink compositions of Pavel Shukupov, a member of the artist’s association “33+1”, are layered into the crown of a large tree. Appearing like “nails” of the exhibition are objects fashioned from the expendable materials from the tire shops “decorating” the whole city but today viewed as undesirable exiles (it is now prohibited to use these rubber products in city courtyards). In this way, the urban fabric of the Primorye’s capital city accumulates into a complex puzzle, a layer cake of historical meanings and their obsolescence, initiatives and indifference, daily needs and adaptations, nature and civilization.
Members: Anya Petrova, Pavel Shukupov