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Painting by Vassily Tsagolov,
sculpture by Maxim Mamsikov

April 21, 2004

Both artists prefer "slow" genres, which are painting and sculpture, although subjects of their attention dispose to using rather fast, reporting forms of depicting reality. Whilst abandoning modern forms of the artistic documentary, they resort to deep-rooted traditions of the genre art, i.e. depiction of everyday life and common scenes. But for all that, Vassily Tsagolov's new series of pictures "A Wandering Bullet" is not a criminal chronicle, and Maxim Mamsikov's sculptural installation "Shelf Plaza" does not include factual pictures of an office's workaday routine. Both projects are imitations of social studies, with the works themselves imitating sketches from nature. That is exactly why they knowingly resign from looking for new esthetics and do not overstep the limits of customary realism.

Vassily Tsagolov claims that the pure documentary often fails to create a proper impression, as it is not directed. He makes new, eye-catching documents, paying a tribute to the thriller with all its shooting, blood, and criminals. His own direction and creation of a fine "shot" are assigned primary importance. Tsagolov works with already existing screen and mythic stereotypes of gangsters, who must indeed be playing their ritual roles in "violence performances".

While Vassily Tsagolov's painting may be compared with movies, the last Maxim Mamsikov's project resembles a cartoon. Clay sculptures, roughly shaped as cartoon dwarves, are staged in mise en scenes on the shelves-floors of makeshift tall houses. There can be found not only own empiric observations, but also screen influence in the construction of the "floor plots". Even the most trivial scene gets mock, when 3D imaged.

Natalia Filonenko

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