Alexei Shulgin on Wed, 21 Feb 1996 23:18:18 +0100

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something that almost does not exis

The Moscow art scene is getting destroyed. Career artists are escaping to
the West. You can meet them in Berlin or Amsterdam.

Many of the artists who stay here are having to change their occupation
since there is no longer any state support and it's practically impossible
to find a part-time (and well-enough paid) job and have free time for art.
Another problem  is that art institutions are in deep crisis. Context is
getting very blurred.

I personally like such situations.

I don't think that art is a middle-class domain. The contemporary art
system -- galleries, museums, magazines -- has always been the only
possible system for Russian artists, the only target. We have very shifted
ideas about underground and left-wing activity here, in the country where
Marxism-Leninism won. To be in the underground here means to be an amateur
artist. To a certain
extent, all Russian artists are underground artists simply because they are
not a part of (the Russian) mainstream -- even Kabakov.

Russian art is something that almost does not exist.

It actually exists only as a reflection in the Western art system's curved

That brings me a personally unique and delightful feeling of being in
between: mainstream and underground, East and West.

The Internet helps me to enjoy such a situation; it brings more uncertainty
in my state.

I am trying to involve more artists in the Internet, but most of them have
the usual middle-class mentality and don't speak English. There is another
problem -- of culture differences. Russian art (even visual) is very much
literature-based. Artists have problems with communication and don't
believe that they can be resolved.

But things are changing little by little...

I have reached the word limit after which writing starts to pretend that it
describes something. What can you describe with words?

-- Moscow WWW Art Centre --