This proposal has been prepared as part of the KINOVARI-IMITATSIA project
of the known art ladies
Lilia Dragnev and Lucia Macari
The proposal: to use - just imagine! - several samples of conceptualism
to show an example of honest and truthful art against the backdrop of a contemporary
artist who works in Moldova.
Implementation: to produce copies, as accurately as possible, of some immortal pieces of
conceptual art by different authors.
Introduction: The space that we used to inhabit until recently featured a
single Soviet "artistic and ideological language," which influenced, as they
liked to point out in those times, the "fate" of our country's art. We felt
quite strongly the "influence of the center" on ourselves, although we tried to
reject it until recently despite an increasing dependence on it and a subconscious
attachment to it.
We can boldly state that we, the inhabitants of Chisinau, received a more or less clear
idea about contemporary art in general and conceptual art in particular thanks to direct
or indirect contacts with Moscow and Moscovite artists back in the "old times."
Thus, we are interested in them, in these very artists, in their own selves, as well as in
their work about life in that very Soviet Union.
The attention of Moscow-based conceptual artists was focused mainly on "the
examination of a 'realist' language of expression and on the form of the ideological mass
art production that used that language" (quotation from book). Therefore, the
Moscovite conceptualism is very clear and understandable to us, the artists from Moldova
who had contact with that language.
The last several years have seen a lively interest in conceptualism develop: perhaps such
a belated interest is a peculiarity of the development of our "contemporary
Epigraph: "… it was very comforting and comfortable that that
thing was by no means 'artistic,' was not 'art' but rather everything that sprang in one's
head and for which I was responsible not as an artist but as a human being …" (Ilya Kabakov)
Implementation tactics: As the ladies of art L. Dragnev and L. Macari
have rightly pointed out in their very contemporary and much needed project, "the low
level of 20th century art history teaching has damaging effects on the 'education' of
young artists." Consequently, I believe, we absolutely need to find and show samples
of 20th century art, we need to learn ourselves and teach others by using known examples.
There couldn't be a better learning method than copying!
We further ought to remark that "copying is a method frequently used by students of
art institutions in learning the techniques and technologies of producing works of
art" (L. Dragnev and L. Macari).
After reading these words I applied to an art school (a copy of my student ID is
attached), because only a student can copy other people's work honestly.
Let's get to the point now. I believe that Ilya Kabakov is the most significant name in
the history of Moscow conceptualism. Therefore we decided to start from him, that is to
copy one of his wonderful pieces from the series "Questions and
grater is this?-It's Olga Markovna's."
A copy of the reproduction is attached separately. When I was a clumsy young man, I saw
this piece and it left-I am not afraid of the word-a colossal impression on me: I even
wrote a letter to Kabakov (copy attached). I was struck by the author's uncommon
truthfulness, and I thought: that's naked truth, that's the truth of it all!
We all very well understand this piece, it is very close to our artists. Kabakov's words,
placed in the Epigraph, are a perfect illustration of a conceptual artist's state of the
soul. We can see in it the honesty and the broad vision of a true artist. And because we
start by looking at conceptual art from the perspective of the admiral of the Moscow
school, the entire movement becomes increasingly closer to us.
I am gradually drawing nearer to the main point: the pitiful state of our artists in the
sense of their art and self-education. We have already shown a way to fill in the gaps in
education through copying. But I am afraid that many of our artists approach artistic
creation formally, that is with a head devoid of soul.
One should follow in this case some foreign artists. I mean an honest and artistically
sincere approach to creation. If, for instance, I as an artist have nothing to say in
response to some horrible or, on the contrary, wonderful phenomenon of life, then what's
the point of wasting canvass and paper? I also believe that a true artist ought to keep
silent and not do anything if he has nothing to do. Such an artist will be recognized as
true. For instance, artist John
Baldessari created such a piece: on a canvass he wrote a text, whose meaning was that
the piece contained nothing but art and it had no extraneous ideas in it. I believe that a
copy of this piece should also be offered to our public to show to it art in its purest
form (a copy of the reproduction is attached).
As for myself, I will make a copy of a piece that represents a board with an inscription:
"I am a real artist". I believe that this piece is a most honest and sincere
one. Such an artist is strongly against silly competition as to "who's the
Such an artist understands that there can be no "the best" in art, and if there
is nothing to say it's better not to do anything and not to pollute the world by color
defecations and later explain such feces by the artist's "point of view" or
his/her struggle for peace. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of this artist, but
even this has a meaning.
> Part I: participants
Alesencov / Melnic
Dragneva / Macari
Scerbina Igor (Fazya)
Verlan Mark (Marioka Son of The Rain)