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MOSCOW GOVERNMENT
MOSCOW CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE
MOSCOW MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
RUARTS FOUNDATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
7TH MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART

SOOT
Date: SEPTEMBER 27 — NOVEMBER 6, 2017
Venue: MMOMA, 25 PETROVKA STR., MOSCOW

ARTISTS: ZHENYA 0331C, GRISHA
CURATED BY CATHERINE BORISSOFF

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art together with the RuArts Foundation presents an exhibition of graffiti-artists 0331c and GRISHA titled «Soot».

In this project the artists put aside conventional methods of graffiti and turned to the techniques of drawing with smoke and scoring images on sooty surfaces, the history of which along with pigment painting and stone carving stretches back to prehistoric times. 0331c and GRISHA started employing these techniques in the 1990s. Later having developed an interest in ancient graffiti the artists came to consider their work a continuation and contemporary interpretation of prehistoric art. An important milestone in this direction was their mastering stone carving, which resulted in the exhibition «3016» held in the RuArts gallery in 2016. Taking the continuity of techniques as a starting point, the exhibition curator Katherine Borisoff raises the question of artistic motivation, prompting us to wonder if contemporary street artists are inspired by the same drives that moved their predecessors. Such parallels invite us to consider graffiti an art form rooted in history and to trace its development from rock carvings in caves to letterings in entrance halls of apartment blocks.
Along with twenty works on plywood and concrete rendered using the techniques of smoking and scratching the exhibition contains a large-scale painting in situ — the ceiling in the entrance hall features GRISHA’s drawing from 2014 titled «Spiral». Viewers are also invited to score their own drawings and inscriptions on the sooty surfaces in the corridor on the first floor of the museum. In line with the tendency of public art to penetrate the museum space, the exhibition shows techniques unusual for this form of art which are connected with both an unstudied strand of contemporary street culture and the historic origins of graffiti.

0331C: My first memories connected with fire come from my childhood. When I was 4-5 years old, having stayed at home alone, I grabbed a matchbox. Taking one, I scratched it and it flashed. I remember very well the moment when I first produced this ball of energy and it frightened me. Instantly I threw the burning match on the floor hoping that the flames would go out at once, but they went on on the carpet. Many years later, as a street artist, I started to create drawings experimenting with fire. The energy of fire drives us into a specific state of mind; its≈limitless vigor is infectious.

Grisha: Reflecting on burning or, more precisely, smoking surfaces, I catch myself thinking that this is one of the most mesmerizing drawing techniques that I have ever came across. The first thing to notice about it is, certainly, that there is fire, a flame instead of a brush, an artist’s tool that is not made of matter but is formed entirely of energy.

About artists

Street artists 0331c and GRISHA have been working together since 2010. They frequently employ unusual instruments such as a kerosene burner, fire extinguisher or chisel. Zhenya 0331c’s hallmark is the complicated technique of spraying paint from a fire extinguisher. In 2016 0331c and GRISHA used fire extinguishers to cover more than 10 000 square meters of walls and other surfaces on the territory of the former ZiL factory with drawings. Recently the artists have turned their hands to carving, cutting graffiti in stone and creating small-format sculptures.

Zhenya 0331c is a graffiti-artist whose interests also including sculpture, graphics and photography. Having received an education as a land surveyor he has been involved in street art since 2004.

GRISHA is a street and graphic artist. He graduated from the Moscow State Art and Cultural University specializing in advertising. GRISHA lives and works in Moscow.

About RuArts Foundation for Contemporary Art

RuArts Foundation was established in Moscow in 2003 by Marianna Sardarova. It contains contemporary art gallery, library and video library. The Foundation takes part in exhibition, publishing and producing activities.

The main goal of RuArts Foundation is to promote contemporary art and to expand further art market development in Russia, to introduce honored contemporary artists as well as young artists to Russian public and to create contemporary art collections.


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