12.20.18: The Best Artist Is A Dead Artist

Now that The Sound We See: St P is all spliced, telecined and assembled (and it looks amaaaaaaaazing!), the participants are searching for musicians to do the score and we have time to visit–what else?–more artists in their natural habitats.

Climbing many many flights of stairs in an old apartment building and entering the studio of Petr Shvetsov is like being welcomed into a secret sanctuary of wonder and possibility. Everywhere is evidence of a fantastically creative soul and a constantly curious mind: piles of past sculpture, sketches, installations, etchings, prints, assemblages and framed objects, current paintings in progress on the theme of Tex-Mex food and the mysterious 1959 Dyatlov Pass incident, taxidermy, postcards, ballet slippers, ancient pickles, a sacred tub of brown goo of and even a self-portrait of himself in a coffin because, as he tells us with a smile “The best artist is a dead artist, no?”

In the evening we find ourselves literal and figurative miles away at a strange office building where curator Anastasia Skvortsova has invited us to an exhibition of paintings by Dmitry Margolin. There are framed reproductions of Art’s Greatest Hits all over the lobby and down every corridor. As advised by a watchman at the front desk, we take the elevator to the fourth floor and emerge into what is apparently a scene from a Russian remake of Day Of The Locust… wine flowing, dignitaries emoting, giant garish paintings on every wall, arty people in showy clothes posing for photos, and two young men running, shoving and shouting, getting in people’s faces while haphazardly brandishing empty glasses and somewhat menacing metal bars. Is it performance? Situationist comedy? Party crashing? Bad drugs? Good drugs? No one pays the wild lads any mind at all and the party rages on while we retreat to the tranquility of the late night Metro…



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