Anton Litvin

litvin_08_0Had solo exhibitions in various Moscow galleries (1994 —2005), participated in actions and performances (1993-2007). Participated in “Manifesta” (2002),
the Prague Biennale (2003), the VeniceBiennale (Russian pavilion, 2005, with the ESCAPE Program) and special projects for the 1st and 2nd MoscowBiennales (2005, 2007), among others.

From Moscow with a Night

When the candles are out all cats are grey – this melancholic adage presupposes that, with the coming of the moon, external and momentary details of daytime perception yield to other, more profound, observations.
Anton Litvin in his art also prefers to use twilight situations and images, not trusting the gloss and luster of life, either in sunshine, or under floodlights. This choice is connected with the refusal of the artist to react to the all-intensifying high-class manner and glamour of today’s art. In one of Litvin’s interviews he said that he considers the artist’s desire to work with the highly promoted labels of mass culture very naïve – to beat them is impossible, and any reference to them, in one way or another, serves the aims of publicity.
In that optical style in which his works are presented there are no flashes and no resplendence, but nevertheless all his works are built precisely on light counterpoint and as a whole are full of the drama of light and shadow. The new work “From Moscow with a Night” also presents pictures of twilight life. Here the effect of compression and temporary overlaying of frames is used: the artist shot one and the same carriage of a Moscow regional train whilst passengers were boarding, and later assembled a whole train from the fragments of one and the same carriage.
Litvin treats the image as a writer, more precisely, a poet, tailoring it and using reprises, winding one and the same image into balls and gradually adding new ones to them, so that closer to the end of the train the clews (carriages) become tighter, denser. But – it seems that such is the nature of poetry in general – density does not give the feeling of heaviness, of physiological nature, of the drama of the dying body. Rather to the contrary, it gives hope that one can escape all of this in the future.

Evgenia Kikodze

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