I wouldn’t know about historians and anthropologists, but this scenario is definitely near and dear to Marina Koldobskaya. In her new project Road South, the narrative is reduced to a minimum. The pure joy of depicting overshadows the questionable pleasure of interpretations.
At the exhibition, the viewer’s glance is directed towards the great-grand-history, the great-grand-art. It comes to rest upon the diversiform furniture whose surface is overgrown with wild signs-puzzles. Tables, chairs, suitcases and cupboards bloom with a savage black-and-white or red ornament in whose interlacements a discourse is afoot about the essential: Food, power, nature, weather. Love.
The critique of culture or the apologia of innocence are not at issue here. It is pointless to look for any social undertone in the cupboards, chairs and tables. There is no politics, albeit very much expected. This is the decoration of a cave in which the author leaves.
The procession along the Road South is a pilgrimage to the roots; a movements in the reverse chronological order to Africa that, they say, is the origin of the entire Earth population. This is an attempt to transfer the inexplicable simplicity and joy of the archaic into the sophisticated, arrogant, meaningful and self-absorbed contemporary art.
What is especially refreshing is that it is the art born in St. Petersburg of which one automatically expects glumness, nostalgia, acrimony, umbrage and reliving of the past.
South for northerners is always associated with rest and vacation. With all too brief happiness. The project of Marina Koldobskaya is a rest from the wearing burden of cultural memory in hopes of finding happiness forever.