From 30 September to 5 November 2017, the installation artwork 'The Field' by Ekaterina Choporova, winner of the TAKEOFF project contest's second season, will be on display in the Yak-42 aircraft exhibition space at VDNH. Permanent director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, art expert and art critic Iosif Bakstein has curated the 'Contemporary Art' section.
As conceived by the artist, the main part of the installation is the plane fuselage, which lies abandoned, covered in grass, unable to fly or move. Exhibition fixtures have been removed from the inside of the aircraft, which enables natural light to pass through its open windows, softly illuminating an impassable tangle of vegetation.
The artist describes the installation thus: "A giant metal bird, fallen to earth in a concrete jungle and overgrown with grass, is a symbol of destruction and life at the same time. What are we looking at – an allegory of vanity or an affirmation of life? The grass interacts with the metal body of the plane in its final resting place, creating a myth of a post-apocalyptic future where people no longer exist and everything is reclaimed by nature. We follow a path through tangled vegetation that will never die back, in an aeroplane that will never fly. Everything that surrounds visitors to the space is a simulacrum of something... The grass is not grass, the mysterious light given off by these abstract futuristic objects is akin to the light emitted by deep sea fish. It could be strange vegetation in a tropical urban environment or an ephemeral creature invented by an artist. Inside the empty metal structure, you are surrounded by music and the imaginary whisper of wind flowers. The soft ground, rustling under your feet, has a calming effect..."
This meditative installation draws back the curtain on the artist's Utopian world, exposing just a fragment. The environment created at the exhibition, in particular the mysterious exhibition pieces, is a metaphor for a choice we face: what will the world look like in future? According to the artist: "We know very well that we ourselves influence what comes after us."
The artist Protey Temen, who curates the 'Design and Contemporary Art' section at the Higher School of Economics Design School where Ekaterina is a student, commented:
"Throughout her artistic career, Ekaterina Choporova's works have always been elegant in shape, and for the most part have been made using the new visual languages: digital abstraction, the multi-materiality of tumblr, and the appeal of mass media communications. All these languages have a common symbolic origin: a lack of space for human emotions, and therefore for humans.
In her work 'The Field', Ekaterina openly articulates the disappearance of humans as a part of the environment, whose presence she replaces a with synthetic material, the last hope for resistance from external forces. The field of questions, which appears between the two poles of the Natural and the Supreme is where the observer is to be found in this dystopian space."
Project TAKEOFF was launched at VDNH a year last spring, on 21 May 2016. Its main mission is to discover emerging talent and support young professionals active in contemporary culture. This year TAKEOFF launched its second season. Svetlana Taylor (Photography), Elena Selina (Art), Igor Gurovich (Design), Sergey Choban (Architecture) and Olga Shishko (Video Art) curated the five different project areas. From 10 March till 5 April 2016, an open contest was held to select participants (between 15 April and 31 May 2016, an additional creative contest in the Video Art and Design sections was held). The curators chose the winners taking into consideration the recommendations of an expert board composed of directors of the leading Russian museums, famous designers and architects, as well as experts in photography. Project TAKEOFF culminated in five exhibitions, held from May 2016 to January 2017 in the Yak-42 aircraft: 'Permissible noise level during a flight', 'Nubis', 'Recycling', 'No adults allowed. A real children's plane', and 'Quartet for the End of Time'.
Elena Skripkina, creator of the Quartet for the End of Time exhibition, won a special accolade in the 'New Generation' category of the "Innovation" awards, the original and most prestigious contemporary art prize in Russia, which was founded by the French Institute and the Embassy of France in Russia.
ORGANISER: VDNH JSC.
TIME: 30 September – 5 November 2017. Daily, except for Mondays.
VENUE: Industry Square, Yak-42 aircraft.
PRICE: full price: 100 roubles; discount tickets for schoolchildren, students, and pensioners: 50 roubles; children under 6 years, orphaned children, children without parental care, disabled persons, veterans of the Great Patriotic War, and multi-child families: free.
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