Stella Art Foundation presents the third part of the “triad” of projects put on show by the Artistic co-op Cupid on the Foundation’s premises (the second part of the project was on show in 2011-2012). The first part, Show and Tell. Artists and his Model. Still Waters Run Deep, was shown in the autumn of 2009, the second part, Metamorpheus, from December 2011 to February 2012. The current, third and final, part is again very different from the previous ones, demonstrating the inexhaustible inventiveness of the Association members, Yuri Albert, Paruyr Davtyan, Viktor Skersisand Andrei Philippov.
You enter the subway car and see girls sitting, even and smooth, buns to buns. While these ones recline and sprawl, their goods and chattels hanging, and think about politics.
Artists of the group say: “All our projects are based on the ‘swan, pike and crawfish’ principle: we make incompatible models of art and different ways of understanding art collide in one installation. Such a collision produces new meanings that may have been absent from our individual works. In the new exhibition we used the metaphor of art as a subway system, where artistic ideas rush with incredible speed, jumping from one line of artistic movements and trends to another. The exhibition is structured as a connection hub, a station where one can cross over from one understanding of art to another. Ideas of the co-authors, who are also the station masters, through their collisions and transformations, change themselves, much like particles in a booster, into new, yet unseen elements. On the other hand, this process could also be perceived as a Purgatory: some ideas end up in the paradise of the museum, while others are forgotten.”
Without disclosing details of the numerous amusement rides prepared by “Cupids” for the public, we can only say them that their subway is something like a well-knit multi-versum, an aggregate of small worlds embedded in an integrated exhibition space. This plurality, one would imagine, is what is produced by the operation of the “swan, pike and crawfish principle” professed by the artists. It manifests itself not only in the group authorship of the Cupid association or the bizarre space of its installation, but also in the organization of each and every exhibit. Artists use as their “raw material” all sorts of familiar objects that, after they end up in the installation environment, mutate into something incomprehensible, not readily comprehensible or comprehensible but absolutely surprising in its hybrid form.
We could also put differently: one can move from one world to another of this last version of Cupids’ multi-universe not only by physically moving along the installation. As soon as you take a look at any of the objects filling it, you immediately find yourself at a different place from the one you had just occupied. First you had an impression there was a swan in front of you, but it soon becomes clear that the swan is also a crawfish, and an even closer look shows you that it is also a pike into the bargain. So, anyone can easily see that Moscow conceptualism of today is not only “work with language,” but also work with the entire world. And actually even this world is not enough.
Artistic co-op Cupid was established by three veterans of the Moscow conceptualist school of art, Yuri Albert, Viktor Skersis and Andrei Philippov, in 2008 (Paruyr Davtyan joined them in 2015). During its lifetime the Association has realized five ambitious exhibition projects: Vitia and Hares. Fragma, Pragma, Enigma. Artistic co-op Cupid (Proekt_Fabrika, Moscow, 2008); Show and Tell. Artists and his Model. Still Waters Run Deep. (Stella Art Foundation, Moscow, 2009); Water Intake (Proekt_Fabrika, Moscow, 2010); Caspar, David, Frederich. at “Aesthetics Against Information” exhibition (Cultural Communications Center, Klaipeda, 2010); Metamorpheus (Stella Art Foundation, Moscow, 2011).