Vadim Zakharov

zakharov_vVadim Zakharov was born in Dushanbe in 1959. Nowadays he lives and works in Cologne and Moscow. Graduated from the Moscow State Teachers Training Institute. He is an artist, editor, archivist of Moscow Conceptual art scene, collector. Since 1978 he has been participating in exhibitions of unofficial art and worked in collaboration with Igor Lutz, Victor Skersis (SZ group), Sergei Anufriev and others. In 1982–1983 he was a participant of the APTART Gallery. Since 1992 he has been the publisher of the Pastor magazine and founder of PastorZondEdition. Editor and designer of the book on Moscow Conceptualism(2005).

The Saint Sebastian suite
There is, before you, real furniture, created taking into account all the visual distortions which we see in icons. It is practically impossible to use it according to its intended purpose, because reverse perspective is not functional. Nevertheless, it is furniture, a style of furniture.
Icon-painting and the Russian avant-garde are two fundamental schools, which are the trademarks of Russian Art. The Catholic tradition of depicting Saint Sebastian (there is no such iconography in the Orthodox tradition) helped to combine them. And the suite’s title, “Saint Sebastian”, came from that. Thrusting the arrows-triangles into the flesh of another tradition, the Russian avant-garde reveals itself as a researcher, dissects any ideology, except its own. These three canons are so firmly connected that the viewer does not see any gaps.
In order to separate the canon from the ideology, it was necessary to find “ground” on which such an ambitious figure could be placed. Ordinary boiling porridge oats, reminding one of a mud volcano, instantly and perfectly removes any ideological pains and swellings. It removes inner tension, grumbling and contradictions. It is an ingenious image! I am proud of it. Porridge oats will save Contemporary Art (and not only) from the stupidity of self-conceit!
My thanks to Alexander Avilov for making the furniture to V. Zaharov’s sketches and models.
Vadim Zakharov

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