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Dmitry Okruzhnov, Maria Sharova

03 March — 07 April 2020
20 XL Gallery

Dmitry Okruzhnov, Maria Sharova


The exhibition of the Russian art duo of Dmitry Okruzhnov and Maria Sharova "RM" is a direct continuation of the previous project - the painting installation "206 Partial content", which was exhibited in the XL Gallery in 2017. The previous project was dedicated to network ruins, memory and history, while the new project by the artists tells us that reality itself becomes history. The synthesis of the real and the virtual, their interaction and interpenetration is a topic with which Okruzhnov and Sharova are constantly working, as well as developing the theme of decay and construction - deconstruction. The artists use the language of classical painting, but supplement it with digital elements - pixels and other technological failures and noise.

The name of the exhibition ("RM") is an abbreviation for "room" and "remove".

The combination of "room" and "remove" in the name of "RM" is the same synthesis of everyday life and technology, - the authors emphasize. - First, "room" is a room. The room as a place of residence of a man, his immediate surroundings, his space, his case fr om which he periodically comes out, making a flight to other worlds. And "rm" is an acronym used by programmers to shorten the "remove" command. In our project a person is "removed" from his or her environment, he or she is not there, but the presence is felt. There are only traces of his life and social life left.

The work on the project "RM" was carried out in parallel with the work on the previous one ("206 Partial content"): at first the concept of a new series was developed and sketches were created, then artists painted canvases for almost a year. At the exhibition, the viewer will see six large-format oil paintings, which are expositionally combined with each other and constitute 36 square meters of fragmented decay of reality.

"The previous project was about network ruins of the USSR. When we looked for photos for the project in the network, we often came across photos from the present, but they looked like history, the past," Okruzhnov and Sharova say. - And, indeed, it is worth uploading any image to the network, as it immediately becomes the past. Very often there were images of deserted rooms and even cities. It's not known wh ere people have gone. Maybe they died, maybe they do not need this apartment and they rent it out, maybe the room burned and uninhabitable, or there was some other event that made it impossible for a person to stay in this space. Maybe people have gone to live in another city or their thoughts have plunged into the virtual space of their gadget and are mentally absent. They escaped from everyday reality into the glowing abyss of the screen. There are many reasons for people's absence, and they are all different", say the artists.

According to them, "the room in the RM project is an intimate portrait of everyday life from which a person has been removed".

"In our lives, too, there are similarly empty rooms left by people. But our space around us is destructive, it crumbles to pieces and assembles into new structures. Even the building in which our workshop is located is part of history, although it exists now. Everyday life is more like Frankenstein, "stitched" from pieces, real and virtual. Based on the legacy of constructivism, we construct our reality in our own way. Pictorial elements seem to float in the space of the canvas, blend and combine. They form bizarre combinations, which are combined into a single ensemble, creating the environment of modern man. One wants to escape from this space. It is uncomfortable in its ruin and, at the same time, fascinates us with its aura of history. The repeated motif of the glow from the window reminds us of the glow of the screen of the monitor, so familiar to all of us - but it begins to shift, split. In this project, virtuality also becomes ruined, scattered and lost in the common space of life," said Okruzhnov and Sharova.