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Egor Fedorychev. Pastion

07.06.2022 – 26.06.2022

Venue: New Holland Island. Admiralty Canal embankment, 2

Participants: Egor Fedorychev

On June 7, the exhibition season opens again at the New Holland Pavilion. Throughout the summer, exhibitions of several young artists will be held here, prepared jointly with St. Petersburg galleries and art institutions. The MYTH Gallery will be the first to transform the pavilion space by presenting Egor Fedorichev's personal project "Pastion"[1].

At Egor Fedorychev's Pastion, the first thing that greets the viewer is a painting of a dissected carcass dripping with animal juices — or oil spills. Passing through the “ripped belly of the Earth” we enter a forest of ceramic-tiled pylons. A pylon is a fundamental architectural element — whose job is to support the weight of the entire structure. Bathroom tiles evoke associations with the legacy of Soviet and post-Soviet public spaces: swimming pools, public baths, hospitals, summer camps. Here the images of bodily excretions create a sense of the predominance of the physiological over the spiritual, reinforcing the awareness of oneself as a body, a physical object.

The space built by the artist combines three conceptual elements: the foundation, the social dimension and the flesh. In this space the human being, whom we are constantly reminded of by the materials, motifs and the painting itself, faces the trials of the immovable foundation of history, society and the physiological cell.  The artist sees all these as the inevitable trial by evil, referring to Alain Badiou’s Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil (1993). We are caught in a rift, a wound in time that we must overcome.

In his book The Forest Passage Ernst Jünger speaks of the catastrophes of World War II as a trial: “We are not at liberty to avoid them, yet there is freedom in them. They are one of our trials”. He recognizes the meaningful power of the catastrophe as it can create new humans who will be responsible for building a new world based on new values. Surprisingly, his 1951 book chimes with the present. What does a person have to do to free himself from violence? What kind of person will emerge from these trials? Is it possible to find freedom in them?

[1] Pastion is a portmanteau created by the artist from words past’ (Russian for a maw) and bastion (a bulwark). It combines two opposing forces: creation and destruction; a bastion as something fundamental and solid, whilst a maw as something that devours and tears.

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