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Moscow Biennal of Contemporary Art

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Semyon Faibisovich

 

event site and dates

Red October, Chocolate Hall
20 september 2011 — 15 november 2011

Three in one

Organizer: Regina Gallery

The three-part project by Semyon Faibisovich «Three in One» brings together works made between 2009 and 2011.

In the series “Once Upon a Sunset” ten pictures represent a frontal view of the same wall, diagonally lit by a setting sun, along which people and cars are slowly moving. In terms of real time the pictures are separated by moments. But beyond such differences of substance they are also distinguished by other means. In each picture the artist has offered different interpretations of styles, colors and textures. However, such a postmodern game marked by irony and reflection does not displace but rather serves to underline the traditional message of the paintings, each addressing the lyrical theme of a sunset. Further emphasis is made by the use of the sprawling alla prima technique – a kind of painting normally reserved for huge sketches.

Thematically, the project “Three Triptychs” is a follow-up to the “Razguliaj” cycle created by the artist between 2008 and 2009. Conceptually and ideologically this series is a defence of the triptych. It showcases the resourcefulness and relevance of a form usually looked down upon as archaic and morally out of date. In each triptych some basic stylistic rules are violated in a certain way through the use of modern methods of production and narrative, including reportage. As a result, the works presented could be seen as ‘wrong’ from the viewpoint of staunch supporters of both tradition and innovation. But for the open-minded these works are quintessential examples of a form that addresses both eternal questions and the pressing issues of today.

The series ‘Metro Again’ is the artist’s dialogue with his own series ‘Metro’ that was created a quarter of a century ago. Since then, economic and social frameworks have changed dramatically, as has the author himself and the technologies he employs in his work. The line-up of passengers has tangibly altered – in terms of class and ethnicity. And, accordingly, by the way they dress and their behaviour. Now we as viewers even look at them differently – armed by the filters of a new cultural landscape. And yet the continuity of historical epochs is very real, the things which unite these people are no less tangible than the discrepancies between them.

In 2007, after a twelve-year break, Faibisovich returned to the medium of painting. This return coincided with a brand new way of producing works, comprising of photography (the use of a mobile camera phone), the emulation of painting through a use of digital technologies including printing onto canvas, and painting as such in the final stages of production. This is the trinity referred to in the title of the exhibition. Placing brushstrokes over photographic images to make them look like painting or, conversely, painting in such a way as to create the illusion of a photograph were not the author’s objectives. These techniques, used in combination with many others, are only a means to an end in terms of what the author wants to achieve. Somewhat like a curious gardener, he is involved in a crossbreeding of various types of painting, grafting the ‘real’ painting onto a wild array of digital painting games – thus creating a new art product, a brand new breed of painting. The exhibition “Three in One” is this breed’s detailed presentation.









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