The exposition design elaborated by the group "L.U.K.I." (the authors: Vadim Kudryavtsev and Eugeny Sidorov*) is named by the term "distinction", which supposes a search for integrity,similarity by of comparison of differences.
Actually, the modern art often exhibited in the Marble Hall of the Museum of Ethography here, perhaps, enters into a dialog for the first time with the magnificient architectural decoration of the beginning of our century. The dynamic space of the neoclassic gala hall, usually neutral or surpressing the exposition, this time is deliberately articulated by contrasting but also strict and stylish means of the modern design. Thus the new passion for coolness and beauty of the neoclassic art gives new possibilities to the old monument, taking architectural forms out of historical rigidity and transforming them, practically from the floor to the ceiling, into elements an integral spatial composition.
The focal point of the installation is the accurately calculated " magic " space between four narrow mirror pyramids arranged approximately in the centre of the hall. Their facets condense the light reflected from the " mica " glass ceiling and produced by floodlights with blue filters mounted on the hall gallery; the mirrors also dispers to the space the gleam of the foil covering the floor. A special effects of materialization of the light and air space is achieved due to the "sterile" quality of the blue light adding similar uniform cool lifeless shade to all the surfaces. The polished marble of the walls, foil, mirrors and glass are transformed into planes radiating dispersed "hallucinogetic" blue luminescence.
The coolness and strictness of this composition is tinted by its main component, exotic and contrasting in respect to the architecture and design: a band of strange visionary paintings by Bella Matveyeva. Affected langour, amorous bliss, the atmosphere of total eroticism inherent in "neoacademism" reach apotheosis and self-sufficing narcissism in the creative activity of B.Matveyeva. In the exposition it is accented by two "spread" branches of the graphic frieze meeting on the picture "Roulette": a girl (to the left) and a youth (to the right) immersed into somnambulic dreams. Non-convergence of these two sources as if separated by a transparent barrier resembles esthetic, philosophic and life collisions of culture of the beginning of the XXth century expressed in banal but exciting verses by Igor Severyanin:
"But who is the lover? And is there a pair?"
The exposition desing emphasizes such associations due to the fact that fragments of images (aloof faces, naked semifigures) are repeatedly reflected, gliding without meeting in the geometric mirror facets of the pyramids. As the onloocker moves along stands draped with black cloth with pictures, "pictorial" youths and girls move and change their poses in a smooth rhythm next to him in the mirrors. The effect ot such an artificial, practically cinematographic"enliving"of painting combined with its fragmentation in reflections seems as everything else in this space behind the mirror, inverted, retrospective. It transfers corporal pictorial plasticity to another plane of perception: peculiar frames, appearing and disappearing with shift of the glance, void of live qualitative texttural concreteness, which fix metaphoric poses and gestures. This emphasises again coolness and aloofness: the main specific features of the artistic language of "neoacademism".
By the intention of the authors the exposition should be accompanied with music which would embody the spatial rhithm in sounds as set by the architecture, light and painting. The strict and quite classic thoughtfullness and completeness of this design is indicative of the progress of the synthetic tendency of "neoacademism" oriented to inclusion of the historico-classical city space into the modern creative activity.
* "Vadlm Kudryavtsev (born In 1964 In Leningrad) and Eugeny Sidorov (born In 1970 In Leningrad) are musicians by education. Their main activity: musical design In the "techno'' style. In 1991-1992 participated In several sophisticated exhibition designs, among them "Gagarin Party" (Moscow, VDNH, the "Cosmos" pavilion, "Mobile" (Moscow, Krylatskoe Olympic cycle track).
Белла Матвеева, 1995.
Холст, масло 150х250 см