Nikolay Polissky, founder of the Nikola-Lenivets Crafts and the Archstoyanie Festival, for the first time ever presents his new project Russian Antiquity based around hazel wood at GUM-Red-Line Gallery. The exhibition will also include documentary materials chronicling the media projects presented during the 16 years of the Archstoyanie Festival. Many video materials will be presented for the first time.
Curator: Anton Kochurkin.
Producers: Julia Bychkova, Ivan Polissky
The exposition concept is linked to the syncretic link between two levels or layers that form the cultural landscape of Nikola-Lenivets:
1st layer. Terrestrial landscape – the primary level, the basis that is rooted in the creative genius of Nikolay Polissky and his group of rural worker-turned-artists that works with materials from the forests of Kaluga.
2nd layer. Celestial landscape – the immaterial, transcendent level, the layer of energy, creativity, and development that occur in Nikola-Lenivets: Archstoyanie Festival, New Media Night, Archstoyanie for Children, and many other events of various scope frequently just happen and do not leave any material trace or monuments.
This dualist model reveals the entire range of processes and changes that happen in Nikola-Lenivets, presents the full scope of artistic statements that establish a rich contemporary art context around the small village.
The first layer is represented by wooden sculptures created by Nikola-Lenivets Crafts – Russian Antiquity. The series consists of various elements that reference ruined basic classical architecture forms. The selection of items made from hazel wood in the spirit of classical architecture and sculpture, reinvents the very notion of antiquity itself, as though antiquity was created in Russian villages. Foregoing marble and gypsum molds, Polissky and his coauthors create columns, bases, and architraves from the wooden materials that are especially bountiful in the forests surrounding Nikola-Lenivets Village. The Russian Antiquity series develops the tradition that formed in the first few years of Nikolay Polissky and his art team working in Nikola-Lenivets. Since 2000, the artists reinterpret architectural “brands”: in 2000, they created the Mesopotamian Ziggurat from hay; the Aqueduct from snow followed in 2001; the citadel-like Firewood Tower was built in 2002; the Mediatower dates back to 2003, etc. As Nikolay Polissky notes, “2020-2021 is the time to return to the very beginning, to find ample nourishment in antique art that set the principles and basics of all subsequent urban development.”
The second layer is represented by various media. The media projects of Archstoyanie include performance art pieces, video films, art projects that were documented over the 15 years of Archstoyanie. The exposition will feature for the first time ever the 33-hour performance art piece by German artist Mark Formanek, as well as several previously unreleased films.
Sculptures by Nikolay Polissky and the Nikola-Lenivets Crafts are available for purchase by private collectors. Media projects constitute the property of the Archstoyanie Festival.