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David Ter-Oganyan


19 Dec - 14 Feb 2015

David Ter-Oganyan’s exhibition at St. Petersburg gallery Anna Nova consists of two parts.

On the first floor there are the pictures transformed from small graphic originals into big static ones. Quoting Kurt Schwitters and surrealists the artist uses the method similar to Andy Warhol’s one, but it’s not the picture he conceptualizes but the art of painting as itself; the most important thing here is not playing with the scale, but rather, the process of conversion from one formal plane into another.

On the second floor statics comes alive and graphics stays within the bounds of graphics. There are four slide-shows, photo frames with graphical works and musical installations – Ter-Oganyan’s project of 2003-2004, which the author calls ‘radical popular electronic music’.

Despite the ideological integrity of the project, the structure of its first part suggests that each work must be interpreted by itself. In the second part, however, there’s a total interaction of all the works, which is emphasized by the speed of the slide sequence. The contrast of statics and dynamics can be interpreted as a reference to performance actions as well.

A linking bridge of all the elements in the exhibition is the statement of the present moment, a whole spectrum of emotions and feelings of this moment. Here we can recall classic impressionists, but the artist doesn’t refer to the principles they followed. He plays with contradictions: transformation of scale and form, confrontation of stability and mobility, painting and drawing, silence and sound. The project states the multiplicity of different problem planes, from the political situation to the inner state of the artist. Between all these layers there’s an alive interaction, an interactive game.

The key elements for a logical continuation of this game are the objects by which the artist invites a viewer to do some particular acts outside the exhibition space. This time not only does he invite everybody to take part in an art project, closing the gap between the viewers and the works, but he creates a symbolic space where a political gesture is a comment on the current situation in Russia and in the whole world.

The objects have several components. The pack of cigarettes is for a quiet smoke, contemplating the further strategy. Alcohol is for relaxing, here it’s more like a bait. And finally, there comes the moment to do something real – to take a spray can of paint and act. The gallery is a bourgeois, society element. Ter-Oganyan uses this situation to ‘lead the viewer outside, into the street’

Katya Shadkovska

Contemporary art gallery Anna Nova presents the first solo exhibition of Moscow artist David Ter-Oganyan in St. Petersburg.

Provocative title is fully consistent with the main message of the project. This kind of title was made possible after the advent of computers, when it became necessary to quickly name the work. It is often done to the 'waste' in one’s computer.

On the other hand, David Ter-Oganyan approaches the title of his exhibition in a Dadaist way: according to him, he was just banging on the keys and he liked the noise of it.