The Saint Petersburg art group North-7 presents The School of Active Drawing and Performative Posing (SADPP-7). The concept of the school is only used for convenience as the project is focused on the critical analysis of this term and the revelation of the causes of its miraculous vitality in the conditions of Saint Petersburg art environment. As an art research project SADDP-7 began a few years ago with performative practices of North-7 aimed at the deconstruction of academic drawing canons as their basis. As part of the project, non-classical manners of drawing and models’ arrangement began to develop.
Some of the project’s participants have an academia background and, paradoxically, teach at the Russian Academy of Arts. However, they are not satisfied with the out-of-date model of classical drawing, its complete lack of freedom and of ways for development. The artists raise the following questions: what for? (to draw), why? (does one have to draw or does one have to draw in a certain way?) and how? (is it possible to draw and not to draw). The School of Active Drawing and Performative Posing is not an institution or a curriculum but a method of creating specific conditions-situations through which one can exit the utilitarian schooling rules. As a result, a vast diversity of techniques has developed: axe-drawing, poker drawing, soil drawing, drawing with human bodies, mechanical drawing (by creating special machines for that purpose), etc. Moreover, the specific topics-situations for the performative productions have emerged: living sculpture, model in an environment, mimicry of a model in the urban environment. Even though the term school is treated with criticism the project’s participants regard themselves intrinsically connected to the heritage of the Leningrad school of graphic arts and in their work they are analysing their “rootedness” in the local art context.
The School of Active Drawing and Performative Posing unites the majority of Saint Petersburg artists who practice various methods of “immediate drawing” that include the analysis of its place in contemporary art. Summarizing the results found by SADPP, this exhibition presents works by its main participants: Anna Andrzhievskaya, Piotr Diakov, Nestor Engelke, Nestor Kharchenko, Fiodor Khirosige, Petr Shvetsov Leonid Tskhe, Alexander Tsikarishvili, Sasha Zubritskaya and others. Alexander Tsikarishvili has also acted as a curator.
The exhibition will show the audience different ways of overcoming the limits planar drawing. The exposition has been turned into an environment for performative installations, a living sculpture, costumes referring to the process of transition from a model into a performer, documentations of The School’s performances and a samizdat magazine.