Yuri Shabelnikov

shabBorn in 1959 in Taganrog. In 1979­82 studied at the Rostov Art School. Since 1987 he has been a member of the Art or Death group. Selected solo shows: “The Names of Rembrandt” (2006, Reflex Gallery, Moscow), “Requiem a la Volonte” (2006, Orel Art Gallery, Paris), “Esoteric Football” (2007, Arterium Gallery, Moscow), “The End” (2009, Orel Art Gallery, Paris). Works are in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery, State Russian Museum, Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art and other institutions.

“Biblical Post” was originally conceived as an attempt to interpret and understand biblical texts using a dramaturgic structure. Church sermons use the method of analogy, or in other words applying holy texts to various situations, phenomena and issues in real life. As a result people juxtapose their present situation with a moral imperative. It is this juxtaposition that leads to what might be called the “levels of understanding.” To our minds, the Holy Scriptures are a form of postal communication with Higher Powers. This ex­plains the name of the project – “Biblical Post.” We chose the vehicle of the texts very carefully. The messages from on high are the pages of the Bible folded into paper airplanes, or what we might call doves, which in traditional iconography symbolize the Holy Spirit – the messenger of God or the “ce­lestial postman.” The structure of the “Biblical Post” project is formed at the border between illustra­tion and drama, where the Holy Scriptures are the basis or narrative. The texts and books of the Old and New Testaments are of course too broad and profound to fit in­side one project. The artist therefore selected what he considers to be the key excerpts and episodes, and it is these that form the basis of “Biblical Post.”

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