“Fanciful - such is the situation in which the Russian artist finds himself today. Could he imagine choosing this path in life – when art seemed to be the only reachable territory of freedom in this world? Yet, in gathering ground in art - quite successfully sometimes – an artist fatefully faces this mentioned fancifulness, the phantasmagoric weirdness of the situation. In fact, this desirable territory of freedom becomes a place of detention – chosen voluntarily or set for him by the mighty rulers of artistic destinies. Of course there is a certain illusory choice here. What would you prefer my talented friend? A A general ward or an isolation ward? A Vegetable store loaded with the fragrance of decay, or the dusty but dry cellar in an old professorial summer house? The subtle crack between the parquet plank and skirting-board or a cosy mousehole? Or perhaps you are fascinated by the luxurious spaces of the Piranesi municipal sewage system or the secret hideout of a paranoid leader? Choose, my talented friend. Look at this wide range of variants given to you by Fate!
And so it goes. It has to be accepted. Life goes on in some way or another. A cellar – but your own! A cave – but with a kind of romanticism (just alter your world view a bit). A crack – but no one will come until it next needs repairing (and who knows when that will be, knowing homeowners’ thriftlessness…). Life is everywhere, even where it appears not to be. And maybe it’s better that not everyone can notice us.
It’s fanciful, so fanciful – to be holed up in the underground for a long time. But if an artist is seen as a malignant rodent, where else is he supposed to go? Thanks to our rat guardians, who still protect us from poison and traps. Sleight of paw and a natural quickness will not let us die starving – grain here and piece of cheese there – we don’t need too much. And we squabble from time to time for any edible loot – it’s actually almost funny.
And so the image of this professional underground tenant now has an actual meaning, defined not by terrorists and revolutionists, but by all of those who have something to say – perhaps not spoken aloud, but squeaked at least. Here, in the ramified system of underground halls and secret workrooms, artist-the mole, artist-the snake, artist-the rat can exist unexpectedly, and with impressive success. And here, underground, paintings and drawings, sculptures and installations may be created. We would like them to get more viewers’ attention, but another whimsical turning point in history has ruthlessly thrown us here. Let’s set it up now, and try to make it a rightful place for a creative mind!”