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Ilya Dolgov
Metabolic Design

22 October — 20 November 2019
20 XL Gallery

Ilya Dolgov
Metabolic Design


On October 22, the XL Gallery is opening the exhibition of artist Ilya Dolgov "Metabolic Design". The gallery will feature the author's film and a series of objects "Console".

- The term "metabolic" is used by me in a wide and shaded mode, - says Dolgov. - It points to flows, particles, relationships, connections, infections that do not know what scale, size, system are, do not know what "different worlds" are. They freely slide along the membranes, form interfaces for interaction with anything, redistribute the boundaries of resources and bodies according to their own algorithms. It can be poetry, mycosis, psychedelic, ritual, software api and so on. "Design" points to the ability to notice the metabolic, respect it and enter into neat negotiations with it. In the exhibition, I try again to invite the metabolic to a meeting, using design as a negotiation situation. My second profession, besides the artist, is ux/ui designer. And within this profession I understand design as collisions and negotiations of devices, organisms, societies, capitals, technologies, matter, desires.

According to Dolgov, Metabolic Design, like most of his other projects, was formulated in the process of interaction with certain environments. They did not have to be found: the author found everything he needed near his own house on the island of Kotlin (the artist currently lives and works in Kronstadt).

- All summer I worked on the film, which is probably the rhythmic skeleton of the project," explains Dolgov. - It contains metabolic situations found in the course of immersion in specific bioindustrial cenoses. At the same time, I was working on a series of objects in the "Consoles". They recycle images of everyday metabolic situations, relying on infrastructure elements in the broadest sense. The infrastructural elements that build and maintain our habitat, carefully silencing our own role in shaping it.

As the author says, Metabolic Design continues the movement of the second Reef, an installation that was exhibited at the XL Gallery in 2018. "While the Reef has moved from an ecstatic symbiosis with environments to a subdued logistical sensitivity, MD is even more concerned with logistics, production, membranes and interfaces, in the sense of artwork, living these situations even quieter.

Researcher and poet Nikita Safonov also took part in the creation of Metabolic Design: for the exhibition he developed the text object "Five microtexts about anarchitecture". 

About the author 

Ilya Dolgov is a graduate of the Voronezh State University, and in 2009 he studied at the Moscow Institute of Modern Art Problems. Co-founder of the Voronezh Centre for Contemporary Art (VCSSI). Winner of the Innovation Award 2012 ("Best regional project": "Herbarium"). Nominee of the Kandinsky Prize 2013 (Azoi project) and 2015 (Goethe model of nature). The artist's solo exhibitions were held at the XL Gallery (Nature Model, Goethe Model, 2015; Reef, 2017, 2018), the Vadim Sidur Museum (Burning Archipelago, 2019), the FFTN space (Drinking for irises (backfiltering), 2018, St. Petersburg), the Voronezh gallery of H.L.A.M. (Simple Machines, 2010; Herbarium, 2012), etc. Participant of group exhibitions held at the State Centre for Contemporary Art (Life of the Living, 2017), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Triennial of Contemporary Russian Art, 2017), Fabrika Center for Creative Industries (Proximity Impossibility, 2017), etc.