New political minimalist exhibition by BPS22 and a/political
Friday, 08 February 2019
Andrei Molodkin shows letters which fill up with human blood. The different letters form phrases taken from teenage sub-cultures, offering a synthetic vision of culture and preoccupations which get teenagers excited.
“Black Horizon” is the second exhibition as part of the collaboration between BPS22 and a/political. It brings together Erik Bulatov (1933) and Andrei Molodkin (1966), two Russian artists from different generations, around a shared critique of the dominant language. Erik Bulatov has become one of the most important representatives of Muscovite conceptualism, and features in the most prestigious collections (private and public). He then set up in Paris where he still lives and works today.
At the invitation of Andrei Molodkin, Erik Bulatov spent several weeks in The Foundry, a site of artistic production located in a former foundry in the South of France, in Maubourguet. There he made around thirty sketches using tempera and around fifteen monumental canvases (from 3mx3m to 9mx3m or 6mx6m) which subtly summarise the history of art. Starting out from a few popular expressions (HACPATь which means “shit on”) written in Russian, he painted large canvases which destabilise the spectator due to an illusion of depth, which in turn is alternated with typographic elements reminiscent of the essential flatness of the painting. This tension between depth and flatness, between form and content, characterises these exceptional canvases which will be on display for the very first time.
Andrei Molodkin was born in 1966, in Bui, in the North of Russia. After his military service, he devoted himself to his artistic activities and favoured diverse forms of expression. Depending on his projects, he chose to express himself by drawing with a ballpoint pen, sculpture or installation. From a formal point of view, his work resembles “political minimalism”, inspired by American minimalist artists. Molodkin takes on the simple geometric forms of these artists but loads them with a political connotation, inexistent in the latter. During the US OR CHAOS exhibition at the BPS22, he presented two large installations: Transformer No. M208, three steel cubes made up of tubes filled with raw Iraqi petrol and light tubes, and Fallout Pattern, a work inspired by American confidential documents, published for just 48h by the organisation Wikileaks, which described the impact of a potential American nuclear attack on Russia.
For Black Horizon, Andrei Molodkin offers Young Blood, a new installation, produced for the occasion, which immerses the visitor in a clinical and video environment. In keeping with Bulatov’s canvases, Andrei Molodkin shows letters which fill up with human blood, due to the action of pneumatic pumps. Injecting blood in a jerky way, the pumps add a sonorous and physical dimension to the environment. The different letters form phrases taken from teenage sub-cultures. Offering a synthetic vision of culture and preoccupations which get teenagers excited, these expressions also reveal an assertive force which can be similar to a form of propaganda, likely to influence, at times in a negative way, the people who use them.
Practical Information: BPS22, Musée d’art de la Province de Hainaut Bd Solvay, 22, B-6000 Charleroi www.bps22.be