outside the game. 19 mar 2020 — 19 may 2020

Sergey karev

It's no secret that football does not end with the game on the field. This is an entire industry that involves a huge number of people and means of production - from sports uniforms, match maintenance, live broadcasts and the press to merchandise on the jersey of a young backyard football player. Football has become a means of consolidation and confrontation in the economic, political and social arenas.
The topos "Outside the Game" is self-irically included in the title of the exhibition by Sergey Karev, who identifies himself as an artist and sculptor. Pavel Bezyazyachny, the youngest exhibitor, calls himself a football player.

Sergei "plays" with the ball - the main football totem around which the entire industry revolves. The artist unfolds the sphere of the ball, revealing the void inside, and reassembles the polygons of the tire into objects resembling cult objects. The rough surface of the ball loses, along with the physical traces of the game, the earth's gravity. Sergei continues in the tradition of Jeff Koons, who revels in nihilistic commodity fetishism and media fame, and as the successor to the auratic work of art, redistributes the aura as a false charm. The absence of interference, friction, resistance of the material from which the objects are made moves them into another dimension of glossy fetishized objects, either luxury or religious worship. But let's not forget that Koons is the most expensive artist and football is the most popular game.

For the youngest exhibitor, Pavel, football has become a way to feel a sense of belonging to a huge community. Still not having the detached reflective position of a senior artist, Pavel creates, nevertheless, works that are similar in logic. In the art gallery, jerseys with the numbers and names of the favorite team, but without the players themselves, appear as the same objects that add value to the game - the means of circulating capital. Sincere love for football, as well as the feelings of those who are on the field, are hidden from us behind aesthetic forms.

The works of the young fan, placed in the space of the gallery, are impenetrable for us and have only aesthetic value, while for him they are endowed with a special meaning. So, in one of the drawings, the layout of the players, supplemented by rainbow colors for each player, is redesignated by Pavel into a postcard to his mother. The child has already perfectly mastered not only the rules of the game with the ball, but also with fetish symbols.

Outside the game?