Fatal Strategies
From the catalogue to the exhibition "No Mans Land"
Copenhagen 1995, p. 75 - 77

Viktor Misiano
<...> ln the context of reality appropriation strategy, the poetics of Dmitri Gutov is extremely individual, and can be described as a poetics of critical reality. The starting point challenges the protective conservatism of Zakharov and The Hermeneuts, as well as the vitality of Osmolovski and Kulik. In Gutov's point of view, reality is not meaningless, but pregnant with meaning. The essential is to focus our attention on its thorough comprehension, on reading its intrinsic meanings. That is why the central issue for the poetics of critical reality is to acquire the ability to make pronouncements whose reference is not a text but reality. This is where it gets its perception of deconstruction as purely scholastic and its requirement that a pronouncement must have critical clarity and analytical capacity, in artistic practice, this means aiming at the maximal reduction of the language: reality is only visible where
language is minimal and transparent. In other words, existence comes into being where art disappears. Such aesthetic austerity betrays, however, ethic pathos inherent in the poetics of critical realism in the 19c and 20c. But the ethical austerity of the poetics does not prevent it from imparting singular significance to the act of representation: once an objective pronouncement is found, it must be publicly proclaimed. This is art reduced and then exalted into magic performativism.
But how referential are the objective pronouncements of the critical reality poetics? They are nothing but installational variants of works dating back to the recent and not so recent past. Put another way, the reference of Gutov's works is artistic reality rather than reality itself. Self-reduction of language is not the uncovering of reality, but merely a tautological exercise, i. e., the language closes in upon itself, turning severe critical realism into refined aestheticism. Symptomatic of this poetic is its laying bare the collisions that accompany the rise of the new critical consciousness. The philosophy of Gutov's poetics proves to be born-again Marxism, the so-called "Leninist theory of reflection", the theoretical heritage of Mikhail Lifshits. Although logical in its movement towards analytical, rational opposition to the sphere of meaninglessness and entropy, new criticism nevertheless failed to construct a methodology and became the product of recycling. Gutov professes his new orthodoxy with a zeal that equals that shown by Osmolovski and Kulik in calling forth the demons of power and chaos. <...>