Prioritize sensory perception and visual richness over clear-cut interpretations.

An exhibition featuring the works of Ivan Gorshkov, Dagnini, and Dmitry Kavka showcases their distinct artistic styles, each crafting complex systems of imagery and symbols. From various perspectives, they explore the absurdity inherent in societal norms. Their works juxtapose humor and darkness, balance sadness with the grotesque, and challenge the seriousness of art. Employing a diverse array of tools from mass culture, iconic art historical references and their everyday life experience, they skillfully strike a delicate balance between entertainment and intellectual exploration.

Ivan Gorshkov's artworks thrive on the balance between "high" and "low" styles. Mixing the tasteless and vulgar with traditional artistic practices he creates large scale paintings, installations and sculptures. Bad taste and visual overload suddenly become a creative success in his practice. The search for such luck in combinations of bizarre pictures from the Internet, games screenshots, trinkets and mass-produced consumer goods is the basis of the author's method. The intentionally unskillful painting and brutal piles of imagery within his work reveal the infinite potential of the exhausting visual culture of which we are all consumers and participants. Gorshkov’s works are at once all that the viewer can recognize in them – excessive, crude and cute, ridiculous and frightening, unequivocally impressive and confusing by their very presence in reality.

The disruption of the usual order of things is a necessary condition for Dagnini's works. Whether it's through painting, hand-stitched tapestries, or performance art, her works radiate a sense of the absurdity of our reality. With colorful, provocative images and a series of self-transformations into her inner bestiary characters, Dagnini crafts a captivating and creepy carnival. Its participants – creatures fused from diverse cultural archetypes, clumsy and suffering for the amusement of the audience – work together like a crooked mirror showing the lives of several generations of people tormented by the necropolitics of Russia.

The seductive grimaces of mass culture in Dagnini's works become frightening chimeras that criticize the vices of society. The obsessive sexualization of the female body is incarnated in a four-legged creature in heels, intimidating and seductive at the same time. The local "gopnik" morphs into a gargoyle reminiscent of the Heroes of Might and Magic game, serving as an illustration of teenage escapism flourishing amidst extreme poverty and limited access to quality education. Another of Dagnini's characters is a Venetian lion, constructed from fake luxury goods, ironically interpreting art industry pursuit of the privileges that the capitalist market opens up for it. The artist seems to be immune to the ordinary, she merges completely with her art, giving each of her actions a performative charge, breaking the pattern of the viewer's perception, making her audience an accomplice rather than a mere observer.

Yulia Yousma