Интернет-журнал "Новости искусства в Санкт-Петербурге"

Exhibition of November 2014

Viktor Borisov

«Delphic album»

20.10.2014 - 08.11.2014

All the world's a performance
The Petersburg Ballets of Victor Borisov

 “:the eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing”.
Ecclesiastes 1:8

The first meeting of the painter Victor Borisov with the then Leningrad audience (as well as the first meeting of the viewer with the artist) has occurred on one of the exhibitions SEFA (Society for Experimental Fine Art) exactly thirty years ago, when artists and musicians came out to the public through the torn curtain of semi-official censorship.

And now, his solo exhibitions have been actively feeding Synergetics of Petersburg art experiment more than two decades, filling the city life with spirit of creativity.

Borisov does not paint still lives. Captured by the flow of time, he paints a continuous happening of being, in which "we only dream of peace." Even the artist dreams of archaic origins of Petersburg modernity in a lethargic myth of the Russian North lit by flame energy of Russian avant-garde, has not been fading for a hundred years yet.

In the paintings by Borisov, presented at this exhibition - of his "Delphic album" (whose theme - art as a process played out before the audience) - an urban art life is seen as a permanent performance: how relentless staging of the question "What is art?" on the Petersburg world-stage of Theatre "Globe", as today's response on the age-old humanistic imperative "A human being should be beautifulin every way."

Diligent musicians and extravagant dancers in sophisticated abstract backgrounds as if are celebrating the anniversary of the legendary "The Ballets Russes", started a century ago with an exhibition of paintings and a concert - and gave rise to the avant-garde synthesis of arts, innovative aesthetics of Art Deco, still renewed the scenery of Shakespeare world-stage.

Audiences and critics have been noted long ago that Petersburg in painting by Borisov - a theater in the same sense in which “All the world’s a stage”: “And all the men and women merely players”.

 “World-stage” - is "The World as Will and Representation", a phenomenon discovered by Chopin of philosophy, poet of the art of living - Schopenhauer.

Paintings by Borisov - hard worked, inventive, multi-layered, "made??" according humanitarian criteria of Art Deco - breathe by the freshness of improvisation, emotional "irrationality" of being as a happening, marking the point "here and now" on the line of life - the intersection of ways of the artist and the viewer.

And each of his exhibition in the chamber space of an art gallery (as if on a small stage of "The Society of the Spectacle"), including artist live contact with the audience at the opening of the exhibition - it is a type of performance art, representing painting as mastery of the painter in the creative development of artist.

Such a meeting of artist, gallery owner and the viewer every time asks contemporaries in a new way the eternal question, "What is contemporary art?"

His artist’s answers Borisov encodes tin the names of exhibitions in poetic formulas, without imposing the viewer a clear reading.

Each new exhibition opens to the viewer a new perspective on diversity of Borisov’s painting in which the artist's life and the life of Petersburg are integrated into the present under the sign of eternity.


The theme of "modernity" in contemporary art inevitably encounters rigid assertion of Ecclesiastes: "no one knows when their hour will come" [Ecclesiastes 9:12].

For the classification of contemporary art, as we know it (or do not know), muses are not enough for a long time, and artists continue them alone pathways-driven methods to go beyond the known, to create an unprecedented and "connect the unconnected."

That's why today - in an unprecedented era of total design things and social technologies - the most convenient "discourse" to talk about the existence of art in our uncertain everyday life remains integrating concept of "synthesis of the arts" - art deco, the only live stream in the mythical history of arts, revolutionized by the XX-th century.

Art Deco understands the art as applied - that is applied to a person, which "should be beautiful in every way". In the understanding of art deco artist turns the thing in a message to a human viewer of human-artist: "We were born to make fairy tale come true."

"Russian Avant-garde", "The Ballets Russes", the "American dream", "socialist realism" - different titles of the twentieth century fairy tale which has not yet been read until the end.

"A Fairy Tale - a lie, but there is a hint", lesson, futuristic image-project of the future, towards which art moves our world:

"In 1934 Maxim Gorky asserted:
“Life, as asserted by socialist realism, is deeds, creativeness, the aim of which is the uninterrupted development of the priceless individual faculties of man, with a view to his victory over the forces of nature, for the sake of his health and longevity, for the supreme joy of living on an earth which, in conformity with the steady growth of his requirements, he wishes to mould throughout into a beautiful dwelling place for mankind, united into a single family.” [Maxim Gorky ‘Soviet Literature’ (1934) ]

Art Deco of the twentieth century (decadent and declarative, which served to the elite and the masses, which was backdrop of totalitarian empires and "decorative democracies" of "The Society of the Spectacle", which became the design of the "consumer society") in the process of decoding by method of deconstruction turns out to be much more multi-layered, multi-valued, multi-meant, since the main thing in it - personal artistry skill of the artist as a medium between art and life, art culture and technological civilization.


Musicians and dancers in the pictures by Borisov, grabbed by artist at the "instant of motion" like "represent" the first in the history of modern art "performance" by John Cage - "minute of silence" which lasts 4 minutes 33 seconds, when the artist was left the viewer alone with course of modernity from the past in the future, alone with the question of the place of art in accelerating life.

Feeling the presence of the silent muse of painting, we can see how the light of the future and the shadows of the past depict the present time on the screen of eternity.

Vladislav Kuznetsov, 2014