Nikolai Filatov. Spirals
Stella Art Foundation at Mytnaya ulitsa
September 13 - October 12, 2006
In his new project, Nikolai Filatov presents different variations, based on the shape of a spiral. The works are performed in different scales, colours and media. The spiral shape attracted Filatov because of its ability to comprise a great range of meanings – from pathetic and ethereal to everyday and functional. Highbrows are sick of such symbolic images, but naïve, enthusiastic people adore them. In current visual art, a spiral is an example of absolute vulgarity, and those who want to cross the line of public taste’s strict prohibition will need either ignorance or courage. You can tell ignorance from courage but things get much more difficult when it comes to a spiral – we do not know what happened to it – was the shape exhausted by the predacious cultural exploitation, or can it still give room to new symbolic resources?
The ambiguous value of the symbol was a creative challenge for Filatov. He is a real son of his time in this sense – his mind is always searching for traces of meaningfulness in cultural waste, in the chaos of the collective unconscious, and in the expression of impersonal masses of information that circulated in the oversized body of our civilization. Everything that is worn out because of endless consumption, things that were deemed sacred and ‘highly artistic’ yesterday, and today has become spare parts and raw material for design, fashion and media. Furthermore, it had once (or many times) returned from the kingdom of kitsch to the area of art, but then it became even more outdated and old-fashioned, it is something from which its last drops, last calories, last bits of data have been squeezed out. This waste may be the most fertile material for art, the best source of freedom of artistic expression. A source of the impulse that originates in simple things, humble, abandoned, things not wanted by anyone, things that lack the tension of numerous intrusions, things not tarnished by the competition of those who try to get a hold of them in order to create a work of art.