Yuri Shabelnikov

ShabelnikovHas had solo exhibitions in various Moscow galleries (1993-2007) and participated in several exhibitions, including “Moscow-Warsaw” (2004) and special projects for the 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennales (2005, 2007).

The four projects Yuri Shabelnikov has submitted for the contest, which at first glance seem quite different, actually have a common thread: the artist’s attention to mass media and cinematography. Shabelnikov is unequivocally absorbed by moving pictures on a screen, and even more so by their ability to enchant — their ability to form the conscience and style of an era. In End of Film, the artist sorts through images emblematic of 20th-century film — the sinking of the Titanic, a view of New York from the Brooklyn Bridge — thus creating a cinematographic pantheon and simultaneously crossing it out with the caption The End. In Requiem of the Will, Shabelnikov dissects the aesthetic of totalitarian cinema — first and foremost, of course, the films of Leni Riefenstahl, whose Triumph of the Will he refers to in both title and subject. In Esoteric Football, Shabelnikov plays a joke, replacing the soccer ball in images from a sports broadcast with mythical symbols, thus returning the viewer to the ancient holy meaning of any game, reflecting on why desacralized games that long ago turned into entertainment are so popular even today. Finally, in Andy, Andy… Shabelnikov displays a series of identical sculptures — small, dead Andy Warhols in white coffins — in homage to the artist who spent his entire life tackling the question of what causes overworked images to seize our hearts and minds. This issue, which has been taken up by thousands of artists since Warhol’s time, is also a central theme in Shabelnikov’s work.
Anna Matveeva