March 15 – April 13, 2013
Galerie Sébastien Bertrand
16, rue du Simplon, CH-1207 Genève
T +41 (0)22 700 51 51 • F +41 (0)22 700 56 77
Horaires : ma – ve 14h00 – 19h00, sa 14h00 – 18h00 et sur rendez-vous
(…) Throughout the 1970s to the 1990s Kosolapov made a great many works in which he combined symbols of the Soviet space with symbols of Western commercial civilization — Lenin, for instance, was associated with Mickey Mouse. This sanctification of the masses and mass culture was very characteristic of Soviet ideology. The incessant reproduction of Soviet signs manifested unity with people, the ability to be part of the whole and to partake in a mystery of the eternal recurrence of the order of thought and life.
(…) Kosolapov sees in Christianity the initial form and archetype of our current consumer society. The figure of Christ appears in Kosolapov’s work as a symbol of the contemporary masses’ purchasing power, while the figure of Lenin appeared above all as a symbol of their power of production. In turning from commercial brands towards religious brands — at times the commercial brands’ archetype— contemporary consumer society is returning to its roots. Kosolapov demonstrates this process by making a Christian icon share space with images of caviar or the MacDonald’s logo.
(…) Since the purchasing power of masses is the actual object of worship today, a private appropriation of the symbols of this purchasing power — what is more, conducted free of charge — occurs as a frivolous and even mocking act of irreverence towards the sacrament — but such has always been the perception of art that effectively performs its task.
Boris Groys, The artist in the age of
commodity fetishism, 2012.
Translated by Elena Sorokina
and Emily Speers Mears