Critics’ Picks

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Forehead, 1997, fiberglass, rubber, pigment, wigs, shoes, 55 x 39 4/5 x 23 3/5".

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Forehead, 1997, fiberglass, rubber, pigment, wigs, shoes, 55 x 39 4/5 x 23 3/5".

Moscow

“Another Mythology”

National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA)
Zoologicheskaya 13 Building 2
February 3–March 1, 2009

This exhibition examines the multiple ways in which contemporary artists construct new forms of myth––from imaginaries of the universe to their everyday lives. Rich in juxtapositions, the show creates dialogues between the work of Russian artists—such as Oleg Kulik, Yuri Leiderman, and Pavel Pepperstein—and others from an international roster including Jonathan Meese, Tony Matelli, and Tony Oursler. Jake and Dinos Chapman’s Forehead, 1997, is a multiheaded monster, a mutant imbued with the qualities of mythical characters. In the video Balkan Erotic Epic: Woman with Skull, 2005, Marina Abramovic appears to participate in a ritual as she holds a skull in her hands, using it to strike her own exposed breasts. Abramovic’s work references Serbian folklore, particularly acts wherein humans attempt to communicate with gods via eroticism. The Russian art collective AES+F present a digital collage titled Last Riot, 2007, which resembles a stylized computer game. In its chaotic scenes, violence is exalted and eroticism is naturalized, humans are ageless and asexual, ethics are nonexistent, and sadism is the ruling law. Throughout this show, a restructuring of reality is offered, in which utopian systems seem attainable, and fantastic beings develop new narratives about survival.