Birding
2010

Divine birds fly,
their fine braids flap,
their bathrobes glint like knifes,
their flight lacks mercy.
They measure off units of time,
they weight the burden of rhyme –
ignore the empty stirrup’s chime,
don’t plead insanity.

Alexander Vvedensky, Elegy

In an ever-expanding space one finds necessity in a different navigation system, a trajectory of internal movement invisible from the outside, similar to that of the birds in the sky.

In the time of nomadic culture, when travel is not limited to physical relocation, but gains a more universal sense of soaring in the increasingly complicated space-time continuum, flight of a bird is an expression of this wandering, eternal search, that not only expands cultural dimensions of human life, but also communicates improbable freedom, grants “for an instant” an opportunity of penetration into other, beyond rationale, layers of space.

Images of birds, stealing and reappearing in the layers of painterly space, with their contourlike laconic shapes, remind of V-marks left by someone on the margins of a school notebook—seemingly fitting into a certain semiotic system.

Space revealed in the living pulse of avian flight is an aesthetization of the process of search, an image of civilization in transition.

The surface of the painings is multilayered, paint alternates with thin rice paper, mounted so as to appear translucent. Paper works as a glaze, multiple thin layers create depth, and the subtle tones seep through each other, contributing to the overall shimmering effect—which creates an illusion of beating wings.

16 paintings
2008-10
Sizes: 200×160 cm, 180×225 cm
Acrylic and rice paper on canvas

Photographs by Yuri Palmin