“In the wake of the general collapse of the space of myth, the knowledge of myth becomes the basis for creativity and the perception of reality.” (E. A.)
Evgeny Antufiev’s first exhibition in Italy marks the completion of a project for Collezione Maramotti: a project which the Russian artist has realized during a period of residence in Reggio Emilia.
Antufiev makes constant use of a variety of objects and materials—cloth, crystals, meteorites, bones, hair, teeth, glue, snake skins, insects, marble, wood—that show no immediate relationship to one another, but which fuse with one another within his installations and find themselves transformed: they come to be involved in a process that’s reminiscent of alchemy.
The artist is deliberately committed to the use of his own two hands for the realization of everything he does. He sews, embroiders, carves pieces of wood, boils bones and skulls: in the process with which he concerns himself, the realization of the work takes on the value of a rite. Antufiev maintains a close relationship with the culture of the region in which he was born—Siberia—inclusive of the shamanic traditions which still today remain vital there.
Twelve, wood, dolphin, knife, bowl, mask, crystal, bones and marble – fusion. Exploring materials introduces the viewer’s perceptions to an experience of transformation in which materials, objects and forms that we ordinarily associate with physical functions are allowed to abandon their day-to-day identity and return into the dimension of archetypes.
Antufiev sees the image to have lost its ancient aura of mystery and the presence of the sacred: the image is no longer endowed with the power to effect our reconnection with an alternate reality in which to pursue the construction of our identity and our relationship with the world.
His highly personal and labyrinthine course of research opens out onto multiple planes of vision which together permit the need for a restoration of the order and meaning of the physical and symbolic world to find a confluence with the need to interpret its “laws.”
Antufiev’s attempt to place the world on display speaks of a nostalgia for an eschatology where every aspect of the plane of the human finds its correspondence on the plane of the divine, and where the creative gesture of the human being can catalyze an energy into a state of constant mutation that holds the power to evoke an immortality, understood not as survival, but as the “persistence of meaning.”
The installation of the exhibition is governed by a rhythm that approaches the rhythm of ritual; its space gives articulation to a visionary vibration of materials and objects that leads to an interior Wunderkammer where everything has its own precise place and relationship with respect to the artist’s mental space, into which he attempts to conduct the viewer.
The project is accompanied by an artist’s book.
The exhibition can be visited free of charge, during the opening hours of the Collezione Maramotti:
Thursday and Friday 2:30–6:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:30–6:30pm. Closed: 25 April, 1 May.