Exhibition: On My Way

Featuring: Vitaly Pushnitsky, Petr Belyi, Anna Frants, Daniil Frants, Alexander Shishkin-Khokusai, Alexandra Dementieva and Liudmila Belova, Marina Koldobskaya, Elena Gubanova, Ivan Govorkov, Victoria Ilyushkina and Maya Popova, Mariateresa Sartori, Alexander Terebenin

Arefiev Circle members: Alexandr Arefiev, Rodion Gudzenko, Valentin Gromov,
Rikhard Vasmi, Sholom Shvartz

Curated by: Elena Gubanova, Silvia Burini, Giuseppe Barbieri, Natasha Kurchanova, Anna Frants

Opening: May 7th, 2015, 6 PM
Exhibition: May 8th-July 5th, 2015, Monday – Saturday, 11 AM – 8 PM
Venue: Ca’ Foscari Zattere
Address: Zattere, Dorsoduro 1392, 30123 Venice, Italy (Boat stop: Zattere)

Download Press Release:
Download Curatorial Statement: On My Way
Download: Lizaveta Matveeva: All the Ways of the World

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Video by Studio International. On My Way / Ca’ Foscari Zattere Cultural Flow Zone
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Zattere, Dorsoduro 1392, Venice


Drawing crowds and garnering worldwide press with exhibits concurrent to the last two biennales, CYLAND returns to iconic CFZ Ca’ Foscari Zattere to present their third survey of contemporary Russian art parallel to Venice’s 56th International Art Exhibition.

The exhibition, “On My Way”, includes works by contemporary artists and paintings by members of the Arefiev Circle from the Frants Family Collection.


Dancing along conceptual lines separating one life from another …

The poet Roald Mandelstam describes two juxtaposed lives – the everyday existence of the masses, weighted down by the day-to-day :: the forbidden shadow life of art and beauty, pulsing with imaginative riches.

The group exhibition, “On My Way”, explores the limitless possibilities of living in the mundane and extraordinary- finding respite from deadening routine of everyday in art and beauty in the business of a continuous struggle for survival.

Showcasing some of the most noted talents hailing from St Petersburg, artworks span mediums to illuminate possibilities for subjective expression throughout lives of every kind, probing meaning in dreaming and reality.


The poetic, subjective movement of “ON MY WAY”….  

Eleven exhibited works spark new possibilities real and imaginary – extending space of Art into the life of the viewer and drawing the viewer into the life of Art.

Vitaly Pushnitsky’s “Falling Light” reimagines painterly inquiries of area, time and light through a broad range of divergent media including sculpture, architecture, and installation.  In “Dream and Ball”, Petr Belyi literalizes the idea of a place for dreams with large luminescent balls made of opaque glass upon stacks of pillows.

Anna Frants’ “Anxiety” conjures up a landscape of fear and desperation which opens doors to darker recesses of the mind, drawing viewers to brink of panic, all-the-while rigidly reinforcing its own status as art. Alexander Shishkin-Khokusai’s “Let It Be” installs roughly hewn miniatures in situ within the gallery – mundane, small scale moments revealing absurdity on closer inspection. For “Star Landing”, Shishkin-Khokusai places figures on stools crowned with video monitors, wherein heads appear as recordings.

Alexandra Dementieva’s work, “Mirror’s Memory”, explores the link between representation and memory as mediated by new technology inviting viewers to experience a reflected self at the will of a machine. In Liudmila Belova’s “Archive”, memory of the body is evoked through sound.

Marina Koldobskaya’s iconography (such as animals, fruits and faces) employs a minimal palette to harness raw power of the thing itself while her performance of painting reveals the nature of creation – subtly offering viewers both recognizable cypher and tools to interpret how the language came to be. Teenage technology wiz Daniil Frants and artist Ivan Govorkov’s site-specific performative installation weaves together line, shape, composition and construction through a process based investigation of traditional 2D mark-making and modern 3D modeling.

Victoria Ilyushkina’s wickedly absurdist video work takes on the space of the bathtub as a metaphor for the symbolic connections we make, miss and struggle through.  Mariateresa Sartori’s stark, philosophically rich video work presents the intricacies of the human libido as a popular chemistry lesson.

Photographic prints of Alexander Terebenin’s “Gallery” series depict perspectival stretches of the dilapidated 18th century colonnades lining Nikolsky Market in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile his “Traces on White” reveals empty paths throughout countryside’s equally neglected natural environment: rickety fences and desolate, snowy fields.

A perfect embodiment of the contexts explored in “On My Way”, the multimedia artwork “Danae” by artists Ivan Govorkov and Elena Gubanova invokes the myth of Acrisius’ daughter and Zeus as a moving, mirrored reflection of the life-giving power of the immaterial of art.


About the Arefiev Circle…

Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was difficult for Soviet artists to access and engage with their contemporaries around the world. Artists of the Arefiev Circle were no exception, and  in response they developed their own physical and cultural haven, a zone of creative expression within which individual experimentation flourished. The works of the Arefiev Circle exhibited in“On My Way” reflect a renaissance of artistic expression exploration that flourished despite extreme external hardship, creating a legacy that would last for generations. The works on loan from the Frants Family Collection reveal a visible lineage of subject matter, passion, struggle, and hope that unites generations of Russian artists.

Works by Arefiev artists exhibited in “On My Way” include Alexandr Arefiev, Rodion Gudzenko, Valentin Gromov, Rikhard Vasmi, and Sholom Shvartz.


About CYLAND Media Lab

CYLAND Media Lab is one of Russia’s most active New Media art nonprofit organizations. CYLAND houses the largest archive of Eastern European video art online, organizes exhibits around the world and is the force behind CYBERFEST (Russia’s largest annual New Media art event.) CYBERFEST has been held across St Petersburg’s top art institutions: The State Hermitage Museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, KURYOKHIN MODERN ART CENTER, Borey Gallery, the Gallery of Experimental Sound and Creative Space Tkachi. The 9th edition of CYBERFEST will take place in New York City, Berlin and St Petersburg in 2015. CYLAND was cofounded by Marina Koldobskaya and Anna Frants.


About Centro Studi sulle Arti della Russia (CSAR) at Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

The Center for Studies on the Arts of Russia (CSAR) is promoted by the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Direction of International Programs with the support of the Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. It is the first university center in Italy which aims to carry out systematic research and dissemination of the cultural heritage of Russia. Its activities include permanent and temporary workshops, international conferences, film festivals and supporting Performing Arts. Scientific publications, catalogs of art collections and promotion of cultural activities are done primarily to benefit future generations.