Exhibition at the Optical and Mechanical Plant features the artwork
Slowly Ageing Children (2021)
Installation. Mixed media: sculpture, video with sound. Courtesy of the artist
Lev Smorgon (b. 1929), a famed toy designer-turned-sculptor, provokes the content for his project. Smorgon was able to create a kind of art that avoided official Soviet ideology and censorship. His banal, politically neutral toys let children to play in and inhabit separate worlds – almost alternative realities — that were distinct from Communism’s cult of childhood.
Seleznev questions how a child (or really anyone) copes with contemporary Russian existence. He examines the place of fantasy and asks how the creation of alternative realities can be used to escape propaganda and control. Using video and a sculptural installation made of metal and concrete, Seleznev creates a kind of monument to escapism.
His story begins: “Slowly aging children are often bored. Slowly aging children are often anxious. Even before they become adults, they are surprised to notice wrinkles on their faces and thinning hair” (Clayton Press, New York University).
Nikita Seleznev is a multi-media artist, who lives and works in St. Petersburg. Born in Perm in 1990, he studied sculpture at the St. Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design.
Since 2018, Seleznev has had several solo exhibitions, including My Green Crocodile, Navicula Artis, St. Petersburg (2018); Karate Poetry, MYTH, St. Petersburg (2020) and Suburbia, Victoria Art Gallery, Samara (2020). His work has been featured in several group exhibitions, including Los Atravesados, Treize, Paris (2018); Horizon-19, New Museum of Modern Art, St. Petersburg (2019); I don't know whether the Earth is spinning or not…, VII Moscow International Biennale of Young Art (2020); 20:20. Time Has Stopped, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2020); Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2021), and Unfinished Project, The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, Ekaterinburg, (2021).
Karate Poetry was shortlisted for the "Innovation-2021" State Prize in the "New Generation" category. Previously, Seleznev participated in the CEC ArtsLink Art Prospect Fellows Program (New York, 2019) and was a resident of the Garage Studios (Moscow, 2021).
Photo by Lima Lipa