Andrei Kuzkin

kuzkinBorn in 1979 in Moscow. Graduated from Moscow State University of Printing Arts (2001). Participant in the Berlin Biennale (2010) and over 30 group exhibitions in Russia. Special diploma recipient at the Krasnoyarsk Biennale (2009). Winner of the State Innovation Prize in the “New Generation” nomination (2009) and the Soratnik award (2009). Long-listed for the Kandinsky Prize 2010 in the “Young Artist” nomination.

All Ahead of You

Over the course of four days, all of Andrei Kuzkin’s possessions in his studio — from paintings and objects to the tiniest everyday knickknacks — were packed into boxes and transported to the Open Gallery. Any large furniture was thrown away. Nothing remained of the studio but bare walls. At the Open Gallery the boxes were sealed inside steel cases. On March 15th, 2011, in the presence of numerous spectators, Kuzkin placed all of his personal be­longings, including his mobile phone, passport and the clothes he was wearing, into the last, 59th case. While the barber was shaving off his hair, the artist read the long list of items entombed in the boxes. The shaved-off hair and the list went after the rest of the items. Then, in the presence of on­lookers, the last, 59th case was welded shut. An unburdened Kuzkin washed himself in a basin and put on some newly bought clothes — a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. The project will extend into time: It ends in 2040, which is when the artist says that the steel cases can be opened. He is erasing the boundary between art and life. His project does not turn life into art, as often happens, but includes both, equally, blending them so they become inseparable. It in­volves an unpredictable number of participants, including all those present at the performance (inas­much as the project has to do with destiny as much as with art and therefore turns regular observers into witnesses of the fateful event) and all potential buyers or any other unknown persons who might ever become involved with the artist’s boxed-up legacy.

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