Contemporary Russian Art

One of the most provocative artists on the scene of contemporary Russian art is Andrey Molodkin, known for his explosive artwork and notorious political pieces, along with plans to turn human bodies into oil as a symbol of re-birth. One of his latest works is Transformer no. V579 installation—a monumental corridor of oil and light that viewers must pass through in order to understand the author’s philosophy behind his work.

Networked electronic objects, infrared LEDs, a huge distorted iPod—state-of-the-art objects get a new look and meaning in works by Russian art collective Electrobutique. As in many examples of contemporary Russian art the audience is welcome to engage in dialogue with the work: a hidden message in a snake-like wall-mounted sculpture becomes visible only when looked at through a digital camera or mobile phone. Are these just wacky objects meant to entertain audiences?

In fact, the Russian artists behind the Electrobourique art collective, Alexei Shulgin and Aristarkh Chernyshev, communicate a strong critical attitude through their artwork, which is a feature of contemporary Russian art. A distorted iPhone 3G , repeating the form of the staple of avant-garde architecture—Tatlin’s monument to the 3rd International, is meant to raise such up-to-date questions as interrelation between art and product design and the influence of information technology on our daily lives.