Oleg Ustinov & Egor Fedorichev: Happy Hardcore

'Happy Hardcore' is a joint exhibition of artists that continues the journey through different musical styles.


Rostov-on-don and Omsk are cities with a rich musical history. Rostov musicians are famous not only for their hip-hop visionary work, but also for their solid contribution to punk rock, the relaunch of the Russian guitar indie scene, the popularisation of Russian trance, and their significant influence in shoegaze and noise. The top of the iceberg of Omsk's independent scene is rightly considered to be the figure of Yegor Letov, who, let us recall, created the illusion of an active musical life in Siberia even during its depressing absence by releasing collections of his own compositions under different names.

Oleg Ustinov from Rostov and Yegor Fedorichev frpm Omsk are artists, authors and participants of musical projects, graduates of Sergey Bratkov's class at the Rodchenko School. In artistic practice, both have often used their own musical background. Thus, Fedorichev introduced a tragic musical performance near a basketball ring torn from the panel in the installation 'Three points' in the Regina gallery (2017), at the exhibition 'A Fold on the Curtain' in the Start gallery (2017), he declared the guitar noise as a continuation of the total painting canvas. Ustinov used abstract hip-hop as part of the installation dedicated to the protest movement 'Tubes are burning' (Start gallery, 2012), in the series 'IDM' (2013) and 'Super IDM'(2014), he drew parallels between the breaking of the modernist grid and the construction of rhythm in Intelligent Dance Music.


The new series of works and installation by Yegor Fedorichev are inspired by the eponymous concert album 'Light and chairs' by Grazhdanskaya Oborona. The artist uses snatched pieces of documentation from hardcore and punk bands to create paintings, transferring the events of DIY-punk concerts of the 80's into the space of a new visual identity. The wild state of young people and the ultra-political orientation of this wave are still relevant today, - believes Fedorichev. He continues concerts as they were at the time of the birth of hardcore, but in a completely different way. The sculptures in the installation are constructed from chairs found in a forgotten Soviet House of Culture (the chairs were broken after a punk concert).

Oleg Ustinov complicates his visual language by referring to a technology he calls 4d/4p(+p). The very form, "formularity" of this word refers to the method of naming compositions by artists like Autechre, Aphex Twin. The essence of 4d/4p(+p) is to repeatedly (4+) alternate sessions of manual (drawing) and machine (printing) interaction with the canvas. However, unlike Ustinov's previous series 'Liquid geometry' (2018), where the relations of geometric fields were formed manually and printed, the unit of the '4d/4p (+p)' method becomes the line. The artist creates a painting by means of graphics — using markers and printing, moving along the itinerary "workshop - computer screen - typography" and paying attention to the articulation and continuation. Like the term "acid Western" introduced by the critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, Oleg Ustinov's new series can be described as "acid abstraction" — a reassembled skeleton of abstract painting, the method of creating which is clear, technological and transparent, and the relationships within the picture plane balance between harmony and chaos, confirmed by flashes of bright colours.