City as an Artist's Subjectivity

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City as an Artist's Subjectivity. Two boxes. 2020
City as an Artist's Subjectivity. 2020, box, serigraphy
City as Artist's Subjectivity. Catalog. (Rus & En). 2020
City as Artist's Subjectivity. Catalog. (Rus & En). 2020. ISBN 978-5-906281-32-6
City as an Subjectivity. Exhibition (Saint Petersburg). 2020
City as an Subjectivity. Exhibition (Saint Petersburg). 2020
City as an Subjectivity. Exhibition Poster (Moscow). 2021
City as an Subjectivity. Exhibition (Moscow). 2021
City as an Subjectivity. Exhibition (Moscow). 2021
Animation City as an Subjective. Poster. 2021
City as an Artist's Subjectivity. Work in progress. Lithography. 2019
City as an Artist's Subjectivity. Alexander Borkov. Work in progress. 2019

City as an Artist's Subjectivity [Го́род как субъекти́вность худо́жника] (2020), is a publication in the format of an artist's book, spearheaded in St. Petersburg by the artist-curator Alexey Parygin. Thirty-five modern artists from four Russian cities took part in the project (Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan). Every invited artist created only one graphic composition accompanied by the author's commentary, a short text with their understanding of a large modern city[1]. All graphic sheets are collected in specially designed publishing boxes. The limited edition of the portfolio included 58 numbered copies, signed by the authors of the compositions, the curator and the publisher[2]. All graphic sheets are made in color, in various printed graphic techniques: lithography, linocut, woodcut, plywood engraving, serigraphy, stencil, etching, manual typesetting, manual photo printing and others[3].

Quotes[edit]

  • A white sheet of time, on which the sunlit city appears as a relief imprint. Thick golden air with poplar fluff. Time has stood still. House number 29a. Yellow square of the wall. Small square of the window, which is cramped. You are flying away beyond the fence of the Childhood House on the wings of a memory bird. Grass-blade days are woven into a tangle of years that rolls along the road of memory. A unique, vivid image of the home town from the distant childhood, the Home from which you flew away forever. The town of my childhood.
    • Vladimir Kachalsky The Town of My Childhood / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.
  • The music I play is not really the music I would like to play”, my favorite saxophonist Art Pepper once said. The lithograph, which I began to do for the "City" project, was completely different in my idea, but for technical reasons beyond my control, I had to make a compromise, leaving the original scheme, having decorated it with a rainbow of night city advertisements giving hope that everything will be mighty fine in the future, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night will be Saturday night. In "Edichka" Limonov wrote literally the following (I am quoting from memory): The money that old dotards like Dali, Shagal, Miro have from selling their pictures is not enough, to make even more money they put their lithograph masterpieces on sale in thousands of copies. Bearing in mind the financial aspect, I would object to Kharkiv native. You might clench eggs between your legs failing to fry them on a hot stone. Lithography is not just a multiplying technique; the final product has a flavor that can not be achieved with a conventional frying pan. I demonstrated this together with the printer, although I deviated from the original conception.
    • Valery Mishin City Metaphysics / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.
  • Сity is a fertile theme for any artist. And the city I live in is especially good. Here you can find plots to suit any taste: if you want you can paint and draw its grand views of beautiful architecture, rivers, canals, bridges ... Or well courtyards, firewalls, which I have not seen in other cities and towns. And a variety of subjects — on the streets, in cafes, bars. In the title of my graphic sheet I used a quote from an interview with a famous poet, friend of Joseph Brodsky, former Leningrader Yevgeny Rein: “What is a glass of vodka? It liberates the soul ....
    • Alexander Borkov A Glass of Vodka / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.
  • Order and randomness arise under the influence of the creative act in the context of a certain approach to forming and are the fundamental principles of creation that have an ontological basis in art. The metaphor of letter — Littera, architectural integration and synergy of metaphors — columns of a chaotic set of a ghost city, a carrier of randomness information code. Typographic metropolis — Babylonian Chaos of letters spontaneous arrangement like a thesis and antithesis of harmony and order of newspaper columns in the form of eternal city. Randomness is divine, because it is not made by hands, it is not subject to man, unlike order. There is something mystical about the randomness code. The idea of the involvement of ontological “order” and “randomness” in forming is a universal approach to creative act. Thus, the "effect of randomness" is created in the process of creative experiment with printed form and printing. The categories of "order" and "randomness", being the basis of the beautiful, manifest themselves as aesthetic paradigms of the unique author's printing and visual art.
    • Viktor Remishevsky Randomness Code (typographical variations, spontaneity and randomness) / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.
  • Megalopolises. Plans. Building plans. Yellow. Street lineature. Labyrinths of yards. Pigeon flocks. Green. The geometry of squares. Dead zones. Subway burrows. Red. Meaning signs. Dim light. Noise. Voids. Black. The work transformed itself in the process of manifestation. The pictograms appeared almost by accident — naturally. Text: Parking / Diner / Bird / Airport / Disabled / Attention / Parking / Motel / Bar / Attention / Cat / Bird / Diner ... Recoded, literally: art, like all modern culture, lost its clear value criteria, meaning and purpose of movement long ago. City. One of the main problems of modern society is the almost complete loss of the ability to self-cognition and self-identification. City. Civilization is degrading. The agony still continues, maintaining the illusion of life, but it does not change the merits of the question. City.
    • Alexey Parygin City Signs / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.
  • Artist in big city / City is a huge anthill, in which the artist, overcoming obstacles and dangers, resists temptations and rushes towards his success against time. My subjective city is a punk quest in the format of a classic board game. Having thrown the dice, you can try your fate: reach the finish line or get stuck in the labyrinth of the octopus city forever.
    • Valery Korchagin Artist in Big City / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.
  • Sheet from the album “Forms of the Future”, based on the texts of Russian self-taught scientist and visionary Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who recreated a project of an ideal society and city of the future in his books. The left side of the sheet is devoted to selection of ideal city residents for dormitories, the right side is a description of a high-tech house equipped with an autonomous life support system. Rewriting the scientist’s texts by hand, the artist as if reincarnates into him, trying to grasp and hear the cosmic flows that controlled Tsiolkovsky.
    • Leonid Tishkov Forms of the Future / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 123.
  • The plasticity idea «form draws form», expressed by Vladimir Sterligov in the late 60s of the last century, is being honed in lithographs. This is an attempt to find inseparable plastic penetrations of depicted forms. An attempt to ensure that one detail of a drawing becomes part of another. Flowing into each other, they should make a strong visual composition. The main task is to create a single graphic organism, when a drawn object gives life to another one. In this case, there is an interpenetration of silhouettes, where the foreground, middle ground, and background become a single whole. Light, transparent drawing, on the one hand, and a found plastic construction, on the other hand, the way I see it, complement each other, making a graphic sheet both airy and convincing.
    • Andrey Korolchuk Mirage City / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 122.
  • I see City as a Spider that moves with us on the web... Spider is one of the oldest symbols between life and death as a "continuous sacrifice", as Schneider well noted. Its threads symbolize the duality of our world, in which Spider is a demiurge that connects the eternal and the finite. In the Upanishads, web thread symbolizes the sacred sound Om. In one of Akutagawa's stories, Buddha throws a thread into Hell to a criminal who didn't kill a Spider. Spider is both a God and Executioner, and this makes it similar to City.
    • Mikhail Molochnicov Spider City / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 123.
  • Kawarga-Skete. To anyone climbing inside the tower, the ascent is symbolic. Working one's way through the monstrous structure of a factory… rising up through a column of industrial scrap and waste… then standing aloft in the cupola space between sky and earth — free of the intrusions of materialism. Sounds from the composer Kryptogen Rundfunk reign from within this biomorphic cell — focusing the journeyman on the scattered fragments of the self — washing him down with nature's own elements.
    • Dmitry Kawarga Kawarga-Skete / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 123.
  • In London, the red route is road marking used to indicate bus priority area. I found myself In East London at the turn of the 2000s. The East End was lively and diverse back then, and I enjoyed wandering there. I was particularly impressed by the railway bridges over the streets - a piece of iron crossed residential quarters whimsically. Car repair shops, pubs, warehouses and shops were built into space under a flyover. Another artery cutting off the East End from the rest of the city was the Regent Canal. I photographed two- and three-story residential blocks, bridges, parked red cars and roaring double-deckers. There was much red: buses, hydrants, telephone booths, bridge trusses and road markings.
    • Evgeniy Strelkov Red Route / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 124.
  • I’m entering the hall staircase, going up the stairs. Graffiti on the walls, windows with remnants of Art Nouveau stained-glass. The elevator cab door slammed and a shadow of a man standing on the landing dashed upstairs. He is wearing a trench coat with his collar turned up and a hat drawn over his eyes to hide his facial features. Spying, obviously an agent. I’m going to the poet Viktor K., I’ve brought him a banned book published abroad. Viktor has long been under suspicion of the "authorities" for underground press. I see: the door of a communal apartment is swinging open half a flight above and two dwellers, who have grappled in a fight, are tumbling out of it screaming and swearing. The agent is not reacting to what is happening, he’s got a different task. He is standing motionless, one hand in his pocket, with a bright yellow glove on the other one. These impressions from fifty years ago gave an impetus to create a lithograph. For half a century, the interior of the hall staircase and the stairs have not changed, but now the surveillance over the house and its inhabitants is carried out by video cameras instead of agents. Warning, video surveillance, the signs on the house walls say obligingly.
    • Anatoly Vasiliev Yellow Glove / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 123.
  • There are two cities on the Earth, where I feel at ease and free — Paris and St. Petersburg, or rather, St. Petersburg, my hometown, where my family has lived since the middle of the 19th century, and Paris, the city that I visited 30 years ago for the first time, and that has become familiar and close to me. It so happened that I basically visit Paris in autumn or spring, Parisian autumn resembles a rainy St. Petersburg August, Parisian spring — a rainy St. Petersburg June. I really like to draw rain, blurred outlines of houses, their reflections in the mirrors of sidewalks, flickering reflections of multicoloured lights that revive the grey-pearl landscape, silhouettes of pipes, blackening wet tree trunks, foliage dissolved in a grey-asphalt sky. It is in such weather that the boundaries are erased not only between objects but also between cities — you do not always immediately realize where to rush in the morning — to the banks of the Seine or the banks of the Neva.
    • Ekaterina Posetselskaya Autumn Paris / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 125.

Quotes about the project[edit]

  • A city is a narrative — either lyric, or impressionistic, or futuristic and gnarled space that rattles, clinks, and clatters like an iron plate. A city is by no means just a landscape. A city is a social and cultural environment. A city is a labyrinth. A city is an illusion. A city is a memory. A city is a utopia. A city is an abstract idea. Urbanistic poetry and prose on the verge of post-urbanism. A large city is usually Babylon: a blend, which is sometimes eclectic; a juxtaposition of contrasts; a dialogue and a conflict at the same time. A unity generated by differences. Some things are "old" about it and some things are "new". A city deprived of development is boring; a city deficient in historical context is sapless. That said, a city without a clear architectural idea is featureless and provincial.
    • Alexey Parygin A City as an Artist’s Subjective Space / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 5.
  • Project "City" by Alexey Parygin and Timofey Markov is sure an example of livre d'artiste with all its classical characteristics from the form (portfolio with impressions) to the choice of participants who mostly see this work as a kind of experiment, just an episode in their artistic work. Inviting new authors to play with the idea of a book is a very positive decision that provides a lot of new ideas. The chosen subject — “urban theme” — connects the project with its prototype, because the city was one of the most popular and actual subjects for collections of printings. Some format restrictions are traditional for such a project: Their size of paper is defined. And the sheet doubled up. Actually, each participant of the project is invited to decorate a page-spread. The difference is in the absence of any literary text. Furthermore, the subject is given abstractedly: Just a city, without any personifications, details, geographical coordinates. It forms a huge field for reflection and gives every artist the maximal freedom to narrate about his personal connections to the city. Thirty-five voices, views, private stories about the city, thirty-five visions and arts to be in and with it. The visual part is completed with the words the artists tell about the city. These sentences are not always connected directly to the printed impressions but they give more volume and depth to them anyway.
    • Ekaterina Klimova A City as a Book / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 17.
  • All artists who took part in our project expressed their ideas about the city deeply and imaginatively and someone did it more than once. Their works of art don’t need any comments, explanations or additions.
    • Timofey Markov A City as a Bad Habit / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 8.
  • The correlation between the text and the artist’s book is an interesting subject. Beginning with projects of Vollard some artists prefer to work with the literature text of others. Surrealists, Dadaists and futurists often wrote texts for their projects on their own. Later pop art showed that the literal part is not so important. The artist’s book exists on it’s a unique kind of art. It articulates its own textuality that usually is not connected with any interpretations of some texts coming from outside. It speaks with its volume, weight, materials, construction and disputes with the traditional book. The artist’s book can reflect its past as a medium for an alien text or can forget it at all. It always embodies the ideas of the art direction that is the working field of the artist who creates it. First of all the artist’s book is a reflection of its author as an artist. Exclusive nature of which is reflected in each individual copy. That is why there should be as much personality as possible in every artist’s book. Moreover, the artist should better be a good one.
    • Alexander Borovsky Invitation to the Artist’s Book / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 23.
  • The idea of the book, presented hereby was established a couple of years ago by Alexey Parygin, famous artist, collector and specialist in art history who also made unique scientific research about the technique of engraving. He became a curator as a result of a big project "City" created by thirty-five Russian artists of different generations, who were chosen and invited by him. Aesthetic vision, clear knowledge about all techniques of printmaking, great communicating skills and the reputation, allowed Alexey Parygin to make an important step and to show different aesthetic and technical approaches to the subject.
    • Dmitry Severiukhin Artists' book: The Gene of Renewing / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 32.
  • Every artist had to include in his spread his or her statements. Every work shows its own dynamic between the image and the text. This dynamic forms the whole impression. Working on words the artists used handwriting that is typical for an artist’s book. The book is full of versatile balance between its visual and text components. Through its rhythmical structure, all the sheets become one piece of art. "City" is built upon free interpretations and reflections about community as an environment for communication. The project invites you to talk and to think about the meaning of the world and our place in it. "City" is an example of the artist’s book that shows multidimensionality and endlessness of this art direction.
    • Elena Grigoryants Reading the Сity / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 42.
  • The participants of the project are from different generations and art movements: from fine aestheticism to popular brutalism. Artist even chose types of paper to work on. This freedom to express themselves gave artists a possibility to create their subjective spaces inside the concept that works as the objective reality of the project plotted out by Alexey Parygin.
    • Nikolay Blagodatov City: Subjective Improvisations / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 47.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Ekaterina Klimova A City as a Book / Artist’s Book Yearbook 2022-2023. Edited by Sarah Bodman. — Bristol: CFPR (Centre for Fine Print Research). University of the West of England. 2022. — 292 pp.
  2. Alexey Parygin A City as the Artist's Subjectivity // Book Arts Newsletter. — No. 140. Bristol: CFPR (Centre for Fine Print Research). University of the West of England, 2021, July — August. — P. 46
  3. City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. Authors of the articles: Parygin A.B., Markov T.A., Klimova E.D., Borovsky A.D., Severyukhin D.Ya., Grigoryants E.I., Blagodatov N.I. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — P. 5