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Alexander Zhyvotkov. The Roads (2015–2016)
April 23, 2016 - June 12, 2016
Zhyvotkov is like anybody else. There are some great artists of the past who are closer and dearer to him. There are not many of them. And there are the rest. The great, but for Zhyvotkov – the rest. Edvard Munch belongs rather to the latter than to the former. Nevertheless, it is the canonical Scream by Munch that Zhyvotkov referred to in his Routs of 2016. Those who have seen both paintings will be surprised a lot. And they will be right. Because their bond, their succession have nothing to do with representation. They are connected with a sound. That of a human scream, for sure, and that of a clatter of wooden covers of Tibetian prayer books. Unbelievable, but it is so.
To make the wood sound at the touch, not one but seven boards were used to make Routs (2015-2016). Two edge ones are clean, those «covers». The rest, five get us back to the landscapes of Mohrytsia that are briefly defined by lights and volume and are so very Zhyvtkov. The backside is covered with unclear writing, again. It is all typical of his works of recent years. And one does not hear any sound until one touches the wood.
His potential is in the very heart of the construction. It does not have the static air typical for expositions. This «seven-page book» sets onto the movement, changing the angles and beams of light and, consequently, the ideas at the slightest touch of a board. As if somebody puts his or her foot on a road, where, as we all remember, each step changes the landscape in front of a walker and the writings behind him or her.