The Tradition Of Good Taste
2016. Digital collage, print on fabric, 180 x 342 cm
I appeal to a landscape as a neutral genre, devoid of social issues and, for this reason, excluded from the concerns of 'contemporary' art. Probably, today, the gap between the idyllic image of nature that dwells in the corridors of Tretyakov Gallery, as well as in nostalgic minds of its devoted admirers, and nature itself, – divided, appropriated, continuously reconfigured, – is greater than ever. The initial task of the landscape is property mapping, a reassertion of ownership: a rich nobleman ordered to an artist the picture representing his land. At closer examination, it becomes fairly clear that behind any landscape painting – no matter how phantasmal – lurks an attempt to mark and colonize a certain territory.
I combine Kuindzhi classic picture as one of the most clichéd images of nature in Russian painting and mosaic technique as a characteristic element of Stalinist architecture in an attempt to create an image visually similar to the mosaics of the Moscow metro. Only instead of granite and marble, I use meat products, their digitized surface.
By this gesture, I put an equal sign between the act of vision and the act of consumption. But, although this gesture pushes the work out of the field of aesthetic, I have to admit that I fell under the charm of its forms. Work on this mosaic is the act of emancipation and, at the same time, the recognition of its impossibility. Because, even intentionally creating a repulsive, ugly spectacle, I remain within the same aesthetic categories.