Free", installation, "FAIR" exhibition, Royal College of Art , London
External link: http://www.cca.rca.ac.uk/fair/exhibitors/E.shtml
the "BEAUTY FREE" project ESCAPE criticizes the market-like
devices imported by Russia from the West in 1990s. In its project
ESCAPE offers to the spectator to buy not just belongings or personal
things of the painters, but social images and statuses typical of
Russian society. Anton Litvin, Bogdan Mamonov, Liza Morozova and
Valeriy Ayzenberg are not just artists, they are representatives
of different social groups of the population, i.e. middle class,
intelligentsia, women, newcomers etc. Thus "ESCAPE" manifests an
image or a model of modern Russia. The project consists of a number
of objects forming the installation and posters representing each
of the social groups mentioned above. Another part of the project
is a movie-performance filmed in one of Moscow trendy shops. The
"ESCAPE" participants mixing with the crowd of customers pretend
to be mannequins. Absurd immobility of their poses emphasizes an
artist's ambiguous position in the contemporary society: while being
and remaining a creator he has to take a certain social role. From
time to time the members of the group make a slightly noticeable
stereotype movement changing their pose e.g. a middle class representative
flips a coin, an intelligentsia member riffles a newspaper etc.
and then they freeze again.
of the most significant expositions at the "Fair" was the one called
"Beauty Free" presented by Moscow group Escape. Having paraphrased
Lev Tolstoy's saying "An artist is one who is able to depict anything"
they say "An artist is one who is able to sell anything". The members
of Escape group called own artistic style P-Art, i.e. PR ART (public
relation art). Though they confess that by present their PR creative
attempts have not yet brought them great income. At the Fair the
partipants of ESCAPE Anton Litvin, Bogdan Mamonov, Liza Morozova
and Valeriy Ayzenberg represented a gallery and were selling their
own works. The main work was a video shown on a large screen. An
expensive shoe shop on Manege Square, a crowd of customers and visitors.
Among them there are Escape members standing in frozen poses as
if playing a children game of motionless figures. Each of them symbolizes
a certain member of modern Russian society. Ayzenberg is a "newcomer",
Mamonov is an "intelligentsia member", Litvin is a "middle class
member", Morozova is "simply a woman". A copy of this film cost
$300. Besides for sale there were posters $700 each and various
absurd and ridiculous objects for the price of $600 - 1200. British
visitors were watching and praising and remarked: "That's interesting,
turns out Russians have completely the same society of consumers
as we do".
"Fair Game of Art Business" by Nikita Alekseev, "Inostranets"