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Defense

Solo exhibition
Graphics, embroidery, animation, text, objects, 2014-2018
Nabokov’s Museum, St. Petersburg, 2018
Andrey Shabanov curated the project

«Defense» is a series of tabletop exhibitions inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s novel under the same name. The project was carried out jointly by the «WEST-EASTERN DIWAN» (WöD) Grafikkabinett and the Nabokov Museum. All exhibitions of this series used the large cabinet table in the museum's hall.

 

My project was a one-day exhibition-game on the museum table. The table is located in the last hall of the museum surrounded by photographs with houses, in which the writer lived with his family in different years. Under the glass on the table, I put a drawing of a large house with lit windows and dice on top of it. The house, the light in the windows, the table with drawers symbolize mystery, the impossibility to fully know the other and oneself. Something undiscovered will always remain.

 

Each visitor could roll the dice only 6 times according to the number of drawers in the table. The dice determined the viewing sequence. If a player got the same numbers, then some of the six drawers were closed for him. Each drawer had its own meaning: drawer No. 1 - "road", No. 2 - "room", No. 3 - "voice", No. 4 - "prayer", No. 5 - "time", No. 6 - "dance". These are my own artistic practices and methods of defense against chaos.

 

Luzhin, the hero of Nabokov's novel, is gradually driven mad by endless chess combinations. Likewise, I am often exhausted by the search for accurate images in a variety of options. Sometimes, it is hard to stop this chariot and play of mind, hard to choose one thing, to make a move. Thus, a chess player is in a sense very similar to an artist.

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