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Moscow Museum of Modern Art Present Ecstasy Techniques – Projects by SUPREMUS

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Alexander Shumov.

The Moscow City Department of Culture, the Russian Academy of Arts, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art present Ecstasy Techniques – Projects by SUPREMUS (Alexander Shumov, Victor Ribas, Serge Golovach – Acrylic painting, video, photographs, fractals) at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, on view through March 15, 2009. Can the familiar feeling of pleasure derived from many products of contemporary civilization – stable, even, and wide-spread – compare to an all-consuming, demanding stamina and spiritual energy, and therefore rare and quite intimate ecstatic pleasure? Which state can transform our worldview, make it infinitely genuine and complete, eliviate problems and almost make us happy?

The exhibition “Ecstasy Techniques” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art launches a multi-stage long-term project SUPREMUS – a title that was coined in 1991. The participants of this show, Alexander Shumov, Serge Golovach, and Victor Ribas, advocates of “fractal abstraction” technique, raise the question of going back to the source, to the point of merging, which is seldom visited by present-day people, even though the cyclic return to this point has been laid down by many ancient cultures and religious practices.

Ecstasy is a feeling almost unfamiliar to modern people, forgotten like the culture of ancient Greeks, who cherished everything that helps to break the routine and induce the state of epiphany. This is a state of altered consciousness when – expectedly or unexpectedly – we are totally involved with an object, like a vessel filled to the brim, and the awareness of the surrounding world is eliminated. This is a moment of spiritual enlightenment, the apprehension of higher reason, intrinsic to people developing their spiritual level. This is a brief but highly intense state, when the inner and outer worlds merge. In creative people it results in the production of some kind of artwork – a painting, a film, a text, or a movement.

The works on view combine cause and effect, dance and yoga, love and sex, philosophy and alternative values of modern life – the themes examined by the authors with acute sensuality, driven to the pain perception threshold. This high emotional tension called for special representation techniques, which lead the artists to create highly original photographic and artistic methods.

“Fractal abstraction” technique devised by SUPREMUS group is a bright original manifestation of contemporary art. A film produced with the help of scientists from the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences will tell the visitors how fractal abstraction method was generated. The show at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art opens a series of special events, exhibitions, and seminars on abstract abstractionism.

Alexander Shumov Born in 1960, Shumov graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Art History in 1986 and debuted as a curator of the sculpture section of the XVII Exhibition of Young Artists the same year. In 1991 he curated young artists show “Contemporary Artists to Malevich” in the State Tretyakov Gallery, and the creator of “Kremlin. Church. Capital” – probably the only officially approved performance to be held in Red Square. From 1991 to 2001 Alexander published SUPREMUS annual newspaper. In 1995 he presented performance “Reservoir Dog” by Oleg Kulik in Zurich, and curated the program Kunsthaus Oerlikon whose participants were V.Mizin, A.Golizdrin, O.Yelova, D.Bulnygin. A participant of I and II Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, and group shows “Gender Disturbances” and “I Believe”, he first showed his own art in 1991. In 2007 he was presented at the Shanghai Biennale of Contemporary Art as the “Discovery of the Year”. His red-and-white compositions from the “developed suprematism” period were created in Switzerland and were first exhibited in Oldenburg in 1996. Shumov’s works are held in public and private collections.

Victor Ribas Born in 1967 in Khabarovsk, Ribas is a professional artist, and film director; he graduated from the Khabarovsk State Institute of Art 1996. He created a number of experimental documentary films, including one about the show “I Believe”, which focuses on fame as an artistic medium. He was the first to use laser photography to produce fractal portraits – an abstract pseudo photographic representation of people and objects. His fractal abstraction photographs have been acquired by the ART4.ru Museum (Moscow), Art&Public Gallery (Geneva), ABA (Carlsrue), Zverev Center of Contemporary Art (Mosocw). Ribas is a Moscow based theorist and advocate of fractal abstractionism.

Serge Golovach Born in 1970 in Birobidzhan, Golovach is a participant of more than 100 exhibitions. He shoots for glossy magazines. Serge Golovach is a life painter, and the soul of every party. His signature techniques are panoramic portraits and documentary stories, such as “Volga” series. His works are represented in the collections of the State Russian Museum (St Petersburg), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the State Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow), ??? ?????? ???????????? ? ?????????? ???????????????? ???????? ????? (?????-?????????), ??????????? ????? ???????????? ?????????, ???????????????? ?????? ???????????? ????????? (??????), the Far East Museum of Fine Arts (Khabarovsk). The artist is based in Moscow and Vitebsk.

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