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.
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
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.