Alexander Shchurenkov was born in 1984. In 2017 he attended Michael Beutler’s course ‘What the work tells about the tools’ (Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts). In 2018 he graduated at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia) in the field of ‘New Strategies in Contemporary Art’. Alexander received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2004 from Moscow State University.
He currently lives and works in Moscow.
The main theme of Shchurenkov’s work is investigating the nature of basic psychological notions such as self-consciousness, self-determination, and self-sufficiency. The artist is interested in understanding how everyday objects become totems, as well as drawing the line between the sacralization and the desacralization of things that people see and use every day, and experiencing self-identification with these objects. In his recent works Shchurenkov is exploring the idea of how traditional crafts — such as weaving — might transmit different notions, for instance prosperity and poverty. Using old techniques and unusual, made from a waste, materials he creates so called ‘traps of perception’ — sculptures, installations and site-specific works with deep meaning on both over-consumption and short-receiving of goods of prime necessity.
The artist has a very personal relation to fishnet weaving. His father taught him how to weave a fishnet when he was a young boy. During several crisis ages in Russia for some families fishing was the only way to get some food. Luckily he’s never used this skill after the deepest crisis of 1998. The artist returned to it only in 2017. Since that time he’s started experimenting with the technique and different materials, with plastic garbage bags as his favourite. In artist’s interpretation the garbage bag itself corresponds to one’s possibility to desire and consume. We can literally measure anybody’s materialistic wishes by certain amount of garbage bags. This series of sculptures made from garbage bags embodies the idea of being trapped by endless desire of consuming. Colors of the sculptures reflect mass-produced packs of garbage bags.
Grants, residencies, awards:
2017 — Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Michael Beutler’s three-week course ‘What the work tells about the tools’
2018 — Once it happened, backfired, Vacation Gallery (New York, USA)
2018 — Zugzwang, Fragment Gallery (Moscow, Russia)
2017 — Down the basement, Salzburg Fortress (Salzburg, Austria)
Selected group exhibitions:
2018 — Myth and legends of present time, New wing of Gogol’s Museum (Moscow, Russia)
2017 — Where is the artist, Fragment Gallery (Moscow, Russia)
2017 — Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow: 25 years, The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center (Moscow, Russia)
2017 — Sessions of phantom communication, Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia)
2016 — Like this thing, Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia)