russian /



Dmitry Gutov: Sasha, how’s it around in Italy, in Milan?
Alexander Vinogradov: There is a place where everyone knows me. You arrive, you buy a bottle. An empty one.
D. G.: An empty one?
. V.: An empty bottle. You buy it once. You come again, and they fill it every time. You can buy 2.5-liter bottles. But I have just two. I have two liters. Two two-liter bottles. I pour out white in one and red – in another.
D. G.: How much is two liters?
. V.: Two liters is something about 4 euro. And there are about, maybe, twelve species of wine. From local vineyards.
D. G.: It’s hard to wake up, I guess.
. V.: Dima, you know, I began to wake up early these days. Sometimes I can get up at six.
D. G.: Are you joking!
. V.: Notably by myself, I get up by myself. I open my eyes at six. At six, seven, or maybe at eight I am always on foot.
D. G.: What an outburst of energy! That’s because the old project finished and the new started.
. V.: Formerly we created works on computer, in Photoshop. And later all this was transferred onto the canvas and colored. Likewise – in photography. A lot got lost in this coloring. Simply stood, bluntly. Dima, you know, there is a kind of book, a coloring book. It was practically the same. And the energy disappeared. We stopped talking about art with Volodya and so on. And when we were at the beginning, all this technics didn’t exist at all and we had to draw nature very often. When the concoction of the work, drawing and painting are all rolled into one and you don’t separate them. Now I tried doing like that again.
D. G.: That means “continuum”. Which of you works more?
. V.: As Volodya paints now, I tell you, he never painted that much. I fell out myself. He broke through, in fact. The same can’t be said for me, of course. Due to various.
D. G.: You keep it healthy too. All these images, glimpses. And I don’t see any pictures transferred from photographs. A photograph is not configured like that.
. V.: It was like that. I want to tell a story. About a journey from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg. Many people travel. To far-away countries, by train, everywhere. And this view from the window. Well, many people look out of the windows. They just ride in that state.
D. G.: And you take photos when you travel.
. V.: Yes, I took many shots. Two months ago I shook hands with Dima Khankin that I will do “The Journey from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg” in the down hall, and I was warrant that I have got lots of material. And then I connected my i-Pad to Masha’s computer, and it got synchronized. Do you know what synchronization is?
D. G.: Well, something erases, and something appears.
. V.: That’s it. During four or five years all this shots erased. All in all. Without a trace. It was gone.
D. G.: Incredible!
. V.: Yes, you see, it is a mini-tragedy. And it was then that I came to abstraction. For I had no material. Because the erasure of information occurred, some things I did in recollection. There is an image in mind that survived, now you do it. Dima, you understand?
D. G.: I understand.
. V.: But then, when I already arrived from Italy, I felt that I am short of material. I came to Khimki station, that is Leningrad road. At first I thought that I had to go again to Saint-Petersburg, but I strongly didn’t want to.
D. G.: For the fairness.
. V.: For the fairness, yes. I did unfair in fact. I got to Kryukovo, 20 minutes there, 20 minutes back. And there was plenty of material!.. More than… Yes. More than… For I understood that it is all the same, of course. All of this, all Russia, perhaps, practically this is it.
D. G.: As they said in my adolescence, staring from the train window: “These lands looked like this before the advent of the Soviet power”.
. V.: Yes, from the body of the road you see the underside.
D. G.: I liked the “Nasty dog” inscription. There was really an inscription there?
. V.: There was a drawing, a dog on the wall. And I decided to write “Nasty dog” to make it clear. In principal, I like that there are some strange barns, that is the zone of alienation. There are many obscure objects. The whole country, so to speak, is stuffed with those objects.
D. G.: These strange subjects cast a spell. Between the railroad and the paling. Garages, dovecotes. And these specks. These reflections of the backside beneath the windows.
. V.: It took some time to start making them. And then I understood that these reflections when there are plenty of them, are metrical – and they will be at the exhibition. Like pages of an unwritten manuscript. You understand?
D. G.: I understand. And then the watercolor was needed.
. V.: As a matter of fact, I like techniques that you control by halves. For it may somehow, say, deliquesce and so on.
D. G.: Tender techniques. And thus, you sometime give a touch of tempera and crayon. For example, this inscription JOPA on the garage. What is JOPA in English? Could it mean anything?
. V.: As for me, it means nothing. Check it in the dictionary.
D. G.: In principle, this is an abbreviation Junior Officers’ and Professional Association. But I think that in this case it is JOPA (the Ass).
. V.: The Ass, yes.
D. G.: And these reflections on the backside resemble Rothko.
. V.: Rothko, yes! I meant Rothko, when I made it. I meant exactly Rothko. And the red-green line I took from Malevich, it passes through many of his works.
D. G.: And where 17:17 came from?
. V.: This is the reflection of clock. Electric. In the wagon.
D. G.: There were 17:17?
. V.: No, but I needed 17:17. I don’t know, Dima. But often when I look at the time I get 15:15. Today when I was going here I had 12:12, and the next time when I looked at the clock it was 13:13.
D. G.: It is very interesting! My daughter, who does eastern practices and theories, once in an hour or even more, tells from her room when the numbers are alike. It may be 22:22, or 21:21. We need to look through the web, what does this 17:17 on your clock mean.
. V.: Do find it.
D. G.: I got it! “17:17 — risk is a noble thing, but do not blow your mind though”.
. V.: Maybe there is something else?
D. G.: I will announce the list all-over:
Similar numbers on the clock — interpretation of meanings.
00:00 — today planning anything serious will be no good: chances are the day will be full of regrets.
01:01 — the day is wonderful for new beginnings, the planned will realize.
02:02 — draw attention to your health: every sickness may bring to serious consequences.
03:03 — successful conclusion of set up business.
04:04 — today is not the time for risk.
05:05 — if you are alone, you have a sudden romantic meeting ahead of you; if you have a partner — take a look at him, he is up to something.
06:06 — a perfect day in all spheres of life, you will succeed in everything.
07:07 — you will be the main participant of today’s events, so choose friends carefully.
08:08 — a conflict at work expected.
09:09 — today there is a love adventure ahead of you.
10:10 — a wonderful sign, today is a very lucky day.
11:11 — this day you have plenty of pleasant surprises and presents ahead of you.
12:12 — today is your day, supreme forces do wait upon you.
13:13 — do not go off the hooks, today it is easy.
14:14 — time to fall in love.
15:15 — today an unpleasant surprise is ahead of you.
16:16 — luck waits upon you — do not frighten it away.
17:17 — risk is a noble thing, but do not blow your mind.
18:18 — financial support will come from an unexpected source.
19:19 — luck did turn its back to you.
20:20 — try to keep your emotions in hand, the scandal with beloved expected.
21:21 — probably, soon you will have to regret your performed deed.
22:22 — dangerous sign, be cautious.
23:23 — uneasy day is past, and only luck is onward.
. V.: Everything is uneasy.
D. G.: And also with the forest that sometimes appears here in your works.
. V.: You know, I am a forest man in principle. How so – a forest man? I live in the countryside, often go to the forest, I love the woods. And I began to make, so to speak, “shishkin les” (Cone forest). Mysterious, frightful, splendid. Moreover, our woods you know how great they are. And I made “Kolobok”. Broken trees and Kolobok. The works are not random, no, but they were just made in the very beginning. And I even wanted to make an exhibition about the woods, but then I understood that it is not a subject for exhibition.
D. G.: Why?
. V.: And these are the woods. The woods and the woods. Do you understand?
D. G.: I understand.
. V.: Maybe, one day I will make it. And one work with a bear, you may have seen it. A bear and kissing people.
D. G.: I saw it.
. V.: Did you like it?
D. G.: It is too strongly connected with your past.
. V.: That’s it! Yes. Right. That’s it, you know. Absolutely to the point, Dima. I began to work, frankly speaking, in Italy when I planned to make the forest. There was an idea, also from the old works. I thought it could be the forest, some characters, fairy-tale characters, Kolobok. Ill-starred Kolobok, you understand, of that kind. For I honestly thought about this image and I couldn’t imagine its face. And I decided it will be simply a ball, say, yellow stain.
D. G.: Let it be Kolobok from the back.
. V.: In short, there will be no bear at the exhibition.
D. G.: I like that all of this is very different from what you did during the last 20 years. How would you define this shift?
. V.: Not the play of meanings came to hand, like we formerly did with Volodya, but the play of images. Images. For it seems to me that in each work there is a certain image.
D. G.: That could not be retold in words.
. V.: Exactly. I would rather talk if it was possible. And also I had this thought: I was always interested in side vision. Sometimes it is obvious that you compile and so on, but side vision — it is a kind of vision that drivers are said to develop. When something happens, and you get a kind of glimpse, and you got caught. You understand?
D. G.: I understand.
. V.: And this journey by train, in a sense there flows the image beneath the window, and you comprehend it by side vision. Comprehend.
D. G.: Notably it can be comprehended in halves. What is this sheet with a strange black figure?
. V.: Yes, this strange black figure. Well, you know, just… I just don’t know what it is. Just a kind of a black hole. Yes, right. It is an entry to some other space. I wanted to achieve something like that. An effect like that. Something that is incomprehensible for me.
D. G.: Successfully.
. V.: For when I began to make this exhibition, I did not know how it is to look like. And in principle it developed naturally. I did what I like and what I wanted to do, and as a result it formed like that. And when you stand before the canvas and do not know for sure. This state also was very important for me in this exhibition.
D. G.: And which of your works is the main one?
. V.: Dima, now I will show you a picture, 2x3.
D. G.: I recognize it! This is Russian Museum, the hall of Malevich.
. V.: Yes. This is Russian Museum. A small hall, three paintings were hanging there. And there was a battery that really clearly combined with suprematism.
D. G.: Looks fantastic.
. V.: Night at the museum. Well-known theme. Very light-weighted sketch.
D. G.: Just 2x3.
. V.: And at first it seemed that would be not bad to correlate this with a well-known photograph of “Black Square”, also black-and-white. And with reflections.
D. G.: And what’s this endorsing line in the middle?
. V.: When I made a sketch, there was a line in the middle. That marked a kind of two canvases. Just in case. I planned to make a composite. My only canvas was 2x3 meters. Then I took one-piece and transferred this line on canvas.
D. G.: Genius!
. V.: I wanted to make a black-and-white picture for a little pause.
D. G.: And the title is good — “Space-Time Continuum”.
. V.: I favored this word — “continuum”. Translated out of Latin it means “continuously solid”.
D. G.: Uneasy title.
. V.: And this bears some meaning for me too. Well, first, this is the horizon line which is, by the way, round. And, secondly… What I wanted to say was different, wait a minute, now… Continuum, continuum, continuum… Okay, let’s take a moment, I kind of … Side vision… Just a moment, you know, I had a trot somewhere.
D. G.: Take a look.
. V.: That is, I wanted to say that in this state of dynamics the world begins to change. First of all, in mind. And this continuum is also in mind. And everyone in fact has his own continuum in mind. Here, in my works, occurs some changing. This is the path. I began with works of one kind, now I did, in my view, some of them fairly. In fact I like the exhibition, I like the works. Well and if I like them I think they may appeal to someone else.
D. G.: You made the title by yourself? How could it come to mind?
. V.: This is a good question. I meant time and space when I did these works. But “continuum” was prompted.
D. G.: Who is that smart?
. V.: Dima Pronin. Our assistant. He looked at it for a long time, and said: “Listen, I understood what it is – a continuum”.
D. G.: For in your works space and time merge beneath the train window.
. V.: I was in this theme of movement, speed. I always liked it when you are located at the point of contemplation. And everything around you rushes. And this run-away image that you are trying to fix somehow. Some fragmentary memories. That is, the eye cannot  catch everything. I remembered, by the way, your work in Valencia — camera obscura.
D. G.: Where I have this slow movement, and also head over heels. I have always something meditative, delayed and you get things rushing. Sensually resembles something of Labas, OST-artists.
. V.: This is right to the point, Dima. I recently got a catalogue of Labas, and his diaries. And I just read and thought: “Oh God! This is all about my exhibition!”
D. G.: Find the quote just right now.
. V.: “I remember that I felt proud for the man who got off the ground, conquered nature and realized the dreams of Leonardo da Vinci. No academy, no school could teach an artist how to depict these feelings and senses of crossing the space in big speed, what colors to paint with, how to operate them. I got involved into it, and I began to search the means to express it. That time there were many discussions about the Einstein’s Relativity theory that made a revolution in science. We showed great interest towards this theory, and even if we could not understand all, I myself caught some aspects: time and space, twisted space”.
D. G.: It can be bravely taken as an epigraph.