Proces of passing 3
Ivan Plusch traditionally deploys the art of painting to express existential maxims. His art is about the course of time, although he doesn’t make video because it’s impossible to make an endless film. There need to be characters, plot, metaphors and summarizing images. That’s why Plusch prefers more abstract and traditional for XX century ways of transmission genuine pictures of reality which are canvases and spatial installations. He makes them looking alike artifacts, fixing traces of life processes.
Existence is integral and indivisible. Any attempt to pull an effective image out of it is justified artistically but unforgivable from the authenticity’s point of view. Plusch chooses process to be his subject. A protracted coordinate system, unfolded in time, but restricted spatially by the frame of canvas and the bounds of installation. Kabakov aspired to convey the spirit of the communal dwelling by recreating it in the artistic space, whereas Plusch with his intentionally computerized structures, on the contrary , tries to express the duration of life itself as a complicated system of existence. Unlike Kabakov Plush sees all social aspects as something superficial, vulgar and ultimately meaningless. As much as his mind, memory and conscience allow him Plusch fixes the life dynamics cleaned from sociality as an evolutionary process. In his opinion, the contemporary art cannot bear the collision with the existential essence of life. In the field of art everything superficial crumbles to the floor, turned to ashes.
The artist managed to change the course of time. He readjusts his canvases at the speed of plant growth or clouds motion or, quite the reverse, accelerates them up to the speed of light so individuals are erased from the canvases and the walls of their homes are washed away leaving just a flash of light and a handful of sand. Painstaking portraying of historical images are fruitful because not mind but intuition only is able to get closer to the recreation of live progress in all its complexity. Plusch defines the genre of his works as “the process of passing”, which obviously makes one to recall “life impulse” and “duration” of Bergson’s philosophy, who defined reality as something particularly authentic and integral. And much more initial than the dichotomy of spirit and matter, which are essentially just results of life decay. Intellect, in Bergson’s view, is restricted because it operates with abstract ideas, which it creates. It can get the gist of life only in its material and formal aspect. The only thing to do is to rely on intuition and emotions, which are not that easy to control. In XX century it engendered a whole range of marginal (from the official culture’s point of view) phenomena, such as the novels by two Bergson readers, Proust and Joyse.
Like other artists addressing to the subject of time, Plusch secretly mixes his personal and the historical time. His characters live contrary to the historical time but in retrospect they are still a part of it. Plusch tries to catch and identify the rhythm, contradicting “the course of history”, and find the way to express artistically. The first two works of “The process of passing” were about the lost time of soviet realias. They were exhibited in autumn 2012 in the special project of the second Industrial biannual exhibition in Yekaterinburg. They depict how Stalin’s time of UralmAsh affected the lives of Soviet citizens – in the past, present and future.
The first installation was built in the gigantic space of Stalin’s Concert hall in Yekaterinburg. A “Kremlin” runner of many meters length was rising from the entrance up to the ceiling, capturing all the chairs in the auditorium underneath it. This solemn temple of the past epoch is perceived like a complex time machine, directed toward the past from the future, ready to start instantly. In the second work the rusty body of Soviet car “Lada” was turned into a vegetable garden, rich in metals and salts. Plusch shows how the car, proud and rightful means of transport of 1980s, became old, lost its wheels and seats, but still continues to serve its owners as a frame for a prosaic greenhouse. The work shows several vectors of the stream of time. The vegetable crops, the car’s body and the left out owner have three different times of life – from birth until death. The plants will live until autumn, the metal well decay in about ten years, no one will remember the gardener even sooner. “Creative tension” (Bergson’s term) allows the artist to capture the moving feeling of this combination, which looks like a flash, illuminating the existential essence of daily routine.
The both works were united by the name “The process of passing” and that made the viewers pay special attention not only to the result but to the processes showed in the both works. The vegetable garden continued growing during the exhibition, the Concert hall continued slowly going to ruins, and the viewers were watching all this in the light of interested self-assured snobbery. Every next work of the series fixes the point where several time streams meet. On the “Kremlin” runner of “The process of passing-1” commissioner of the second Industrial biennale exhibition Alise Prudnikova got married. A house was built In Anna Nova gallery, where on the 2nd of November artists Irina Drozd and Ivan Plusch will celebrate their wedding.
Third work from “The process of passing”, exhibited in the gallery, is a complex spatial installation, which can easily be taken to pieces. Indeed, here are the portraits of people; here are their homes, the light, and the time. Nothing is on its place and the epoch itself falling apart at the seams, showing everything separately: forms, materials, meanings and sounds. This dissension can be captured only by the artistic introspection. Plush shows that it’s not us who are tired but the very time of our lives. There are no facts or results anymore, only not always interesting processes. Everything else is just vanity.