The project Selected Shells brings together artists who are interested in contemporary urban archaeology. The artists use “abandoned”, unneeded material that is not only a shell but can also serve as a cover or shelter. By studying its forms and features and creating sculptures and installations from it, they find new applications for this material. This research and collection work allows artists to master the space of the city and its surroundings.
Limited by the minimalism of forms and methods, artists use objects found in dumps, which they often recycle, as well as plaster and textiles. Uniting around the concepts of imprint and trace, emptiness and fullness, they leave their traces with the help of micro street art, photos and documentations of interventions.
Like hermit crabs that migrate from place to place in their pilgrimages, the artists move from big to small and back – from landscape to still life, from photograph to object, from inside outwards.
The exhibition Selected Shells becomes a meeting place for the artists’ micro-worlds. The combined territories form a total installation in the gallery space, where the semi-abandoned, snow-covered suburbs of the Siberian city in the photographs of Yanina Boldyreva coexist with a video by Mayana Nasybullova, in which digging in the garbage dump resembles the practice of an ethnographer or archaeologist. By detecting and making micro-traces, Gorod Ustinov develops non-spectacular strategies for mastering different locations, be it an overpopulated center or an empty periphery. The gallery becomes an “imaginary inner space” for artists, formed with the help of site-specific “infra-mince” sculptures and installations, which, according to Marcel Duchamp, are one of the numerous versions of the ready-made.
Following the logic of space saving and mobility, the artists perform a change of scale by using miniatures in the gallery space to reflect about the size of the universe.
Participants of the exhibition: Yanina Boldyreva, Mayana Nasybullova and the art group Gorod Ustinov.
Yanina Boldyreva is an artist and curator.
She graduated from the Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture and Arts with a major in monumental art. She began to practice art as a digital artist, before her interests gradually shifted to photography. At the same time, she began to engage in curatorial activities and wall painting. Yanina was an organizer and member of the art group PEOPLEOFTHEWALL (2009-2013), which engaged in public art in Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Yekaterinburg. She curated several exhibitions and art projects (2010-2018), including street and public art projects in Novosibirsk and the Graphite of Science festival of scientific street art. She has been working with the Ukrainian artist Alexander Isaenko since 2011. They make both analogue works, including photo books, and digital art such as video art and web projects. Their work has received awards in competitions and participated in international shows and exhibitions. Yanina is currently working on solo and joint photo and video art projects. She lives and works in Novosibirsk.
Gorod Ustinov is an art group whose members prefer to remain anonymous.
They were born in 1986 and have been working together since 2010. Their main goal is to learn to feel and appreciate space, starting with its smallest particles. They took part in the 1st Triennial of Contemporary Russian Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2017), the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013) and the exhibitions Art vs. Geography (PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm, 2013), Contemporary Udmurtia (Volga and Vyatka Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts, Nizhny Novgorod, 2016), Danses Macabres (Totentanz Verein, Basel, Switzerland, 2016), Manufactories of Caring Space-Time (Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), Ghent, Belgium, 2017), and other exhibitions. They live and work in Izhevsk.
Mayana Nasybullova is an artist and curator.
She graduated from the Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture and Arts. She works with sculptural objects and installations. She depicts the trends of our time with the help of plaster, silicone and resin. Mayana explores the mechanisms of personal and collective memory and its relation to the artifacts of culture. Mayana took part in the 1st Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2017). Her solo exhibitions include The Crisis of Faith (Vladey Space, Moscow, 2017), Plaster Coming to Its Senses (Prospect Gallery of Modern Art, Novosibirsk, 2013), Actual Amber (Siberia Fund for the Support of Contemporary Art, Novosibirsk, 2014; ARTPLAY Design Center, Moscow; Krasnoyarsk Cultural and Historical Museum Complex, Krasnoyarsk, 2016). She has participated in different group exhibitions, including This ain’t no Moscow (Vladey Space, Moscow, 2017) and Comrades (Krasnoyarsk Cultural and Historical Museum Complex, Krasnoyarsk, 2016). Her works are found at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. She lives and works in Novosibirsk and Moscow.
Louise Morin is an art historian, curator, and author of research and critical texts.
Part of her curatorial activity focuses on the practice of the collective creation of exhibitions. Curator of the group exhibition Landscape Re-Worked (New Tretyakov Gallery, 2017) presenting works based on an environmental way of thinking. Co-curator of the exhibition AFRAID studying hidden forms of fear from different viewpoints (Solyanka VPA, 2017). Co-curator of the exhibition TEXTile devoted to the study of the relationship between textile and text (Gogol House New Wing, 2018). Curator of the mobile project and residency City Dawn by the artist Magda Mrowiec (CCI Perspektiva, Moscow, 2015). Co-curator of mobile exhibition Petit (Voronezh, Rennes, Moscow, Shanghai, 2010). Member of the group REPLIQUES in Nantes (France, 2012). Louise has filmed a series of interviews with over 40 Russian artists. She lives and works in Moscow.