one and many

ONE AND MANY    2004 - 2012

In search of a hero

About ten year ago I had an idea to create some kind of an archetype corresponding to a certain context, the time in which I live. While analyzing it, I stumbled upon an image of a soviet
thlete at a parade back in the 1920s representing a specific character with an unknown destiny and void of individuality. This character must have had something that would single him out from that epoch and him allow to exist in the current epoch. These considerations led to the creation of a “Golden A-shirt” which was the only thing the character owned, his only private space. Later, while thinking about the peculiarity of place and time, I realized that there is no place and time as such and that my “formula of human existence” can be applied to everything and everywhere. The will of the majority will always oppose individuality.K.S.

The “One versus Many” project uncovers two pantheons of heroes as it is placed in a Memorial Museum and workshop of another famous sculptor [Azgur museum]. The queue became a metaphor of the existence of the majority; the are from the recent Soviet past, as well as Soviet Titans.

One cannot but single out the Davids from the queue. They are the people who break it, they left it in order to experience their personal victories and defeats. On the other hand, the rest remain in the queue, an expression of being lost on their faces, as if they involuntarily went missing. However, at some point it feels like the “golden A-shirts” give hope that those remaining in the queue may leave it too.

The scale and the force of the human flow could very well be a foreboding, a home straight in the standoff.

At the same time, Azgur’s classical sculptures of  partisans and writers, party leaders and collective farm workers form a monolithic  Areopagus. These sculptures are in dialogue with Selikhanov’s work , although there is  neither agreement nor straightforward opposition between them. Created by a distinguished artist [Azgur], they barely can stand this intervention but time is not on their side any more.

In this context it is interesting to look at the modernism of life where the high-ranking could be easily lost and a common athlete from the group could become a pompous boss, and a general could easily join the  GULAG line of inmates.

Myths change but the antithesis “One versus many” remains relevant in the 21st century. It is an unconditionally true and functional system of coordinates which in future will allow Selikhanov to bring in other characters as well. Perhaps it is the author’s continuous internal debate because reflection, as well as internal dialogue cannot be stopped. And surely the artist has no immunity to “the will of the majority that opposes individuality.” It is worth noting that the project was presented together with two other ones – “Lesson” and “Renovation”. The first anticipates the atmosphere of the central part, and the second is almost autonomous  but reveals the artist’s methods, it  somewhat represents his work and that very dialogue and reflection, attempt to distance oneself from these heroes and in their absence from time and newly emerging heroes.

lubov Gavriliuk