BRICOLAGE AESTHETICS. ANONYMOUS ART

12 july – 28 august

The All-Russian Decorative Art Museum presents a thematic exhibition "The Aesthetics of Bricolage. Untitled Art", the main exhibition of the project "Festival of Marginal Art: the aesthetics of bricolage", which will run until October 30.

The project aims at researching the culture of everyday life: art environments and decorative objects of "home production", the work of outsiders and naive poetry. It is human nature to decorate and furnish one's everyday life, but a beaded jumper or a cutting board is not a work of art in itself. In order for it to become a work of art, it requires the effort of another actor, a person, who would displace the object from the domestic environment into the sphere of art. We can observe a similar process in nature, where an alien particle gets caught in the shell, and the shell turns it into a pearl. Such objects have two authors, the creator of the object and the artist who placed it in an art environment.

In the course of the exhibition, the viewer will discover three strategies for presenting such artefacts. The first is the collection of "unusual objects" by Alexander Petliura, one of the main specialists in the material culture of the Modern Age. Petliura creates various combinations with found objects, be it a demobilized tunic or a cartoon character made of bottle caps, bringing new meanings to these interactions. Outside of the exhibition their artistic value is lost, the objects revert to a collection of curiosities. These handicrafts are undoubtedly an act of creativity, a leisure activity. Alexander characterises his collection this way: "It's naive, not industrial, not commissioned. Very sharp or some silly things. There's a wolf and a hare made out of corks. When artists now turn to rubbish and make something out of it, that's also great, but it's different, because it's for show. And this art is only for oneself and for the relatives. It should be a family joy, pride for your father, or brother, or mother, who sewed, who made. It can be the author's own work, a "family heirloom", or an alien object encountered somewhere.

Vladimir Arkhipov, the project's second artist, has a different way of interaction with his collection. He seeks and shows the author's ready-made: the fruits of engineering folk genius he has found, moved into the exhibition space, begin to work as "sophisticated art objects". It is crucial for Vladimir to combine in the title of the artefact its original utilitarian function and the name of the object’s creator. "At the heart of my whole story, of course, is my strong artistic impression of what I have seen and my desire to share it with the viewer. I don't show my own works, but other people's objects - homemade functional things that lack only reflection to be works of art. It is not the author's but the viewer's reflection that makes them worthy of any museum: the authors of these objects, simply do not know that everyone, as Joseph Beuys put it, is an artist”.

The third section of the exhibition presents the winners of the photo competition "Russian Marginal". The photo competition consisted of three major categories: "Objects of 'home production'" and "Folk art mediums” - urban and rural. The focus of the competition was the archaeology of the everyday life. Folk art environments only exist in the natural socio-cultural landscape and cannot be transferred to the exhibition space while retaining their original meaning. One way of getting to know them beyond tourism is through a photo exhibition. Like in the first two cases, the photographer is also a co-author of the work in the exhibition space. By capturing the way the objects exist in their original environment, the photographer unwittingly acts as their interpreter. So it seems important to keep the names and descriptions in the commentary on each work as they were announced by the participants in the photo competition.

The exhibition is part of the project “Marginal Art Festival: The Aesthetics of Bricolage”, which includes active online programs, exhibitions, a live discussion (public talk), a lecture and a performance. The Museum will join efforts with other cultural institutions to prepare special projects and educational events within the project "Marginal Art Festival: Bricolage Aesthetics" at the sites of Moscow (All-Russian Decorative Art Museum ) and Kazan (State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan) where the parallel programme events will take place.

The project was realized with a grant provided by the Russian Culture Foundation as part of the Creative People Federal project of the Culture national project.

The project "Festival of Marginal Art: the Aesthetics of Bricolage" will also see public talks, lectures, presentations and performances held at the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum. More about the programme.