Oleg Kulik was born in 1961. He started as a sculptor and later became one of the most internationally recognized Russian performance artists. The Reservoir Dog performance at the Kunsthaus Museum (Zürich, 1995) left a mark in the art history of the 20th century. Later on, Kulik tried a hand at different genres – photo, video, sculpture, installations. He organized more than 20 solo exhibitions and more than 50 group projects at the most celebrated art institutions of the world, including Tate Modern (London), the Austrian Museum for Applied Arts (МAK) in Vienna, the Pompidou Center (Paris), art shows in Vienna, Barcelona, New York, Kyoto, participation in the Venice and Istanbul Biennales. A retrospective art display OLEGKULIK – a chronicle of his artworks from 1987 through 2007 – took place in 2007. Oleg Kulik is also recognized as an art curator, here are some of his projects: I am a Believer! at the Winzavod Moscow Contemporary Art Center during the second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007), the Arkhstoyanie Land Art Festival (2010), exhibition of North Korean Art Trees Blossom Even Under Ice (2010) at the Winzavod Moscow Contemporary Art Center.
For the cover of BoscoMagazine the artist created a composition of Japanese polymer clay figurines mounted on a framed iron structure. They symbolize the author’s understanding of rigid family boundaries, and an attempt of its members to break them down, while still remaining within the family circle. The Praktika Theater staged a play about Oleg Kulik (Person.doc series) that will be presented at the special program of the Red-Line Festival at GUM.
Family Structure. Sculpture
Summer 2015. Polymer clay.
The artist created the Family Structure sculptural composition for BoscoMagazine. The artwork installed on a metal frame epitomizes male and female energy, youth and maturity, the importance of overcoming challenges and rigid boundaries, and a person’s need to be challenged. Simple and complex are inextricably linked together, as any family is a closely-knit unit.
The theme of Oleg Kulik’s artworks presented at the GUM-Red-Line Pavilion is defined as “a body entrapped behind bars”. The Family Structure created in 2015 for the cover of BoscoMagazine, in the author’s opinion, expresses the diverse essence of the phenomenon of family: family is a changeable, ever-growing mass. In relation to this mass, the structure of the external word acts as a fixed grid. The “amorphous” family still remains the center of the world. The structure affords us only two ways: either deep downwards or upwards. The grid mirrors the shape of Lenin’s Mausoleum on Red Square. The family unit combines these structures through its deformation.
The Letatlin installation connects the old traditions dating back to the art of Ancient Greece, and the ideals of constructivism. A male figure atop of the modified Tatlin Tower reminds us of the continuous interplay of the traditional and innovative, the carnal and constructivist, the sensual and rational. “I am interested in the correlation of the grotesquely tiny figure – a being that seems to have come from another world – with this enormous structure. The tower does not serve as a podium; it establishes the parameters of space and infinity wherein this body is lost and tries to find a way out”.