CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art



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Дмитрий Гутов

Has straightened
performance (on mountain, Shiryaevo)

Fragment of the review «Check for durability: Shiryaevo biennale»
News agency CULTURE GiF.Ru

The most provocative work of the biennale was done by Dmitry Gutov. Although he didn't mean to shock anyone, effect was unexpected. Effect of inappropriate dress code: there's nothing shameful in a swimsuit or a business suit by itself but a girl in a bikini in a library will cause a furor and a man in a suit on a beach will be considered a lunatic. The same was with Gutov. He became the reason of hot arguments since he came to work where everyone recreates, and he was the serious one among the careless.
Gutov just wanted to say he is “out of place in all this contemporary festivity” and his home is antiquity. His built high in riverside mountains a similarity of a Greek amphitheatre, with a waterscape and hanged a reproduction with the statue of Venus of Melos.
He read to spectators tired after long ascend to the mountain a narration of Gleb Ouspensky, who was a Russian actualist writer of the second half of 19th century. He bought his selected works as soon as he arrived to Samara in an old book store for 10 rubles. The representatives of contemporary art also didn't put much value on it. Although they should have: the plot amazingly fit the Itinerants past of Shiryaevo where Repin made sketches for his “Haulers”. The story is called “Strengthened”. It is written on behalf of a district teacher, a “little man”, pressed down by hopelessness of life who got into Paris as a tutor. There he visits the Louvre and having seen the Venus feels she strengthened his crooked soul. Having read the narration Gutov said that contemporary art is nothingness compared to the classic one because it cannot sublimate a man in such a manner. Then that contemporary art depends on a context but classical one is independent of it. Foreign participants of the festival, who did not escape while reading, began to disperse indignantly. The “living fluxus” considered it is offensive for him to listen to copybook maxims about context and its absence, and they beetled off to continue to penetrate the context. Although they should not have because only that can strengthen that does not crook under templates of a situation but models it.
Such self-sufficient public did not stop Gutov, he fully expressed himself and got into discussion with the remaining ones who were ready to reflect. After that, having learnt that an artist Yury Albert is going to Shiryaevo, who was going to make a joint project with him, namely, to harness Gutov as a hauler and make him draw a barge, Gutov apologized, said he had got some pressing business in Moscow and left, not waiting till the end of the biennale.
And foreign guests could not calm down for a long time saying that if they were told in advance that it is going to be a lecture and not a performance they would not boil over that much. It is interesting that such a formality could have calmed them down. That's the fight for freedom of creative work: performance should look like they picture it to themselves, and it cannot look like a lecture.


Catalog 2007