’Syncretism, Infinity and a rose” is an immersive exhibition curated by Maxim Didenko. It took place in Solyanka Gallery, Moscow and was based on of Pavel Semchenko’s life-Long artistic legacy, including paintings and objects that he created throughout 25 years of his practice ( while being a co-funder of world renowned AXE theatre).The exhibition was initially build as a retrospective of Semchenko’s works and had run for three weeks: from 16th of February until the 8th of March. It occupied the whole of Solyanka’s numerous gallery spaces- impressive 16 rooms varied in size and ranging from traditional ‘exhibition’ and ‘museum-like’ to quite unexpected and sudden,- like the stairways and basements. It brought together series of life performances gathering some of the most renowned contemporary Russian artists. ’Syncretism’ combined sudden combinations of artistic explorations, allowing to mingle in together different kinds of media -paintings, films, installations, music, theatre and dance. Performers, musicians and artists such as Vladimir Varnava, Vladimir Volkov, Oleg Zhukovskiy and Anis Kronidova participated in daily happenings in the gallery allowing the audiences to experience often unexpected and interactive performances. The primal curatorial thought was to explore the idea of the “Dead” and “Alive” art. The idea of ’Syncretism’ as a whimsical process of trying to combine the ’impossible’ objects and scences as if aiming to achieve ’new artistic normality’ was allowed through the playful interaction of ‘happenings’ that allowed the audiences to experience somewhat ‘uneven’, ‘distorted’ gallery experience. Here the paintings and installations became ‘alive’ with specially created sound, light and theatrical performances. This invited the viewer to immerse into the distorted reality through experimental communication. Thus the gallery turned to some kind of ’playing field’ for numerous artists (followers and admirers of Semchenko’s work)) and audiences giving a possibility to connect to Pavel’s works through the exploration of contemporary digital media- visual and sensory. The audiences were welcomed to participate in the exhibition- sometimes by having a possibility to ’destroy’ works of art. This included an invitation to ‘vandalise’ some of the artist’s original prints in a special ‘vandalism’ space by the recorded guidance of Pavel’s direction to ‘take the paint, scissors or glue’. In this ‘alive’ process the viewer became a part of the exhibition when the vandalised work will be exhibited and kept in the gallery. Also, some members of the audience could become an actual work of art themselves. Evening’s life-drawing sessions performed by Pavel accompanied by life music, allowed lucky members of the audiences to lay down in the ‘capsule of infinity’ ( a transparent coffin-life structure) while his image is being screened and transformed into life video-art, as well as painted onto canvas by Semchenko and life-streamed on Youtube and Facebook.
photo: Dmitriy Chuntul