Leather Bastards Part 1 «Action OO». 6 feb 2020 — 14 mar 2020

Sergey Bondarev, Tanya Koplpakova, Andrey Pakhomov

The series of exhibitions “Leather Bastards”, using the example of artistic practices, offers methods for studying the “body” as a boundary and as a frame that restrains, but also determines self-identification. "Leather bastards" is a meme, a phrase from videos about robots "Boston Dynamics", which is the name of the people they meet on the way. In contrast to the concept of "body without organs" by Gilles Deleuze,
which calls for getting rid of the materiality and limitations of the body, in the view of the machine, a person is an interface, a skin, that is, an external organ or outer cover.

Today, the concept of the "body" as an ephemeral virtual matter has been realized in digital reality. In the network, a person, constructing his identity from images and thoughts, mixes "himself" with other virtual incarnations and information flows. This uncertainty - together with the loss of corporeality and the alienation of the spiritual from the physical - causes frustration, anxiety and depression: in the gray zone online and offline, we need our materiality, tactility and geography.
The dividing line between "human" and "non-human" is located on the surface of the flesh - a shell that limits and censors, but at the same time allows you to determine your "I". In Action Y, the first of the Leather Bastards series, a theatrical scene of the destruction of a body unfolds in a gallery. The visual means used in their objectivity demonstrate evidence - physical traces of the body, whose presence is fixed by the loss.

Three authors destroy, change, dissolve, hide bodies with the help of various artistic constructs: the tactility of painting, the decorative formality of collage, and the shaping of textiles.

Andrei Pakhomov's torsos are shells whose content destroys itself from within. The artist dissolves, decomposes, erases the figure, revealing matter in the shimmering gaps of paint. Color, light and body smolder and go out in the plane of the canvas. Although the figures are fragmented and ghostly, their reality is felt through the recognition of the frankness of the painting. The submedial space of the picture affects different levels of perception: contextual, visual, sensual, perceptual. The arising affects of the viewer's experience, fixing the physical presence in the space of the gallery, certify the materiality of the depicted incorporeal body.

In Sergey Bondarev's collages, the figure of a person changes and deforms according to the requirements of pop culture. If Cindy Sherman and Mamyshev-Monroe created self-portraits to find their body through its presentation, then Sergey Bondarev works with an alienated image, using the practice of objectification as an artistic method, turning the face into a flat material.

In the textile objects of Tanya Kolpakova, the loss of the body is shown in the truest sense of the word: art objects show the absence of flesh. Traditionally gendered women's clothing, the dress, usually designed to hide, repress and censor the body, brings to the fore the anthropomorphic schemes of feminine imagery.

The objects at the exhibition testify to the destruction, loss of bodies, and at the same time fix the bodily presence of the audience. Occupying the maximum possible area in the horizontal plane of the gallery, objects impede movement and cause discomfort. The bodies of visitors are limited to objects of art.