Exhibition curators: Semyon Motolyanets, Timur Musaev-Kagan
Exhibition participants: Vladimir Kozin, Semyon Motolyanets, Petr Shvetsov, Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai, Kerim Ragimov, Olga Rostrosta, Igor Plotnikov, Natalia Feofilova-Feting, Vera Svetlova, Andrey Sikorsky, Vladimir Speransky, Vladimir Lilo, Timur Musaev-Kagan, Maria Grabareva, Emilia Sangi , Kolya Sadovnik, Dmitry Zheravov, Tanya Dubovskaya, Anna Ivonina, Natalia Grazhdankina, Ivan Smirnov, Alina Khalitova, Tatyana Pole, Greta Dimaris, Karozich Group, Lukas Shvetsov, Andrey Kabo, Alena Tereshko, Sasha Nefedova, Igor Panin, Alexander Strokov.
PARAZIT is one of the most exciting creative initiatives in Petersburg today. It’s a kind of creative laboratory, where a mutually beneficial exchange takes place between mastery and experience and irrepressible youthful energy. While the main members of the group stay the same, every year a large number of young talents take part in it, and the most outstanding of them remain in the association.
For the new exhibition at MARINA GISICH PROJECTS the participants of the art group, which has existed for over 20 years on the Petersburg art scene, are preparing a project about the viewer, both imaginary and real. The name of the exhibition is “In search of the trained viewer”. Or more accurately, it is the search for an ideal mediator; fields in space and time where this mediation between the artist and viewer will be unforced and mutually beneficial.
Essentially, the association is always making this search, and one might say that it is an immanent property of PARAZIT. Both when all the members climb Olympus together, and when each of them goes out on to the highway alone – in all the other major exhibitions and projects by PARAZIT, in fact. The demand for a viewer who is sufficiently sophisticated and aware, but at the same time unbiased, may seem rather capricious; but this is not a whim, it’s a vital necessity.
The social involvement of the activity by the association’s members sometimes pushes them to use polar creative strategies – from completely hermetic works to completely transparent ones, which are often backed up by an ironic and grotesque “story”. However, one gets the impression that this focus on the problem of the viewer’s perception is in many ways a traumatic one. The artists seem to be saying: this is my work, it has been thought out thoroughly and executed properly, what more do you need?
PARAZIT really does feel that its works lack the desired quality of perception. To solve this conundrum, or rather to give it a correct, meaningful vector is one of the important tasks faced by the exhibition. The viewer/recipient is not the opponent of the artist. They are rather a colleague and partner. One taking part in a mutual exchange.
Respect for the viewer is not the same position as artists who creates a work that is complimentary to their work, or adjusts things to simplify and “sell” their art. On the contrary, this is a position in which we provide the viewer a wide field for maximum involvement, the possibility to feel they are in the very epicenter of conceptualization. The trained viewer is one who is open enough to be willing to take on the role of demiurge.
Artists of the PARAZIT association offer the possibility of this game, which may and even should become a habit. The possibility to cast off the shackles of suffering in contact with art. A training of perception, but not the kind that inadvertently boggles the mind, expanding the field of vision and shifting boundaries – nothing like that at all.
The apotheosis of a subjective statement, while keeping the viewer’s position “That’s how I see it” intact and inviolable.
Text: Timur Musaev-Kagan
The exhibition will also present the book “PARAZIT: between PUKHTO and the Hermitage”, about the association’s activity from 2000 to 2015. The articles for the book were written by A. Borovsky, G. Yushchenko, M. Gelman, S. Spirikhin, S. Motolyanets and A. Matveeva. The book will help art fans to move in the right direction, by studying the phenomenon of self-organization of PARAZIT’s artists.