Could you tell us about your beginning as an artist?
In 2004 I organized a graffiti action where street artists painted at the Museum of Contemporary Art for the first time in Russia. My research in street subculture I started with the introduction to the power structures (as the main enemy of subculture). I made the video in the prosecutor’s office, also at the training base for police. It was made by a hidden camera. Then I went to the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art. I was the youngest student there. I think there I realized who I am. My idea of art has changed. It was divided into before and after studying there.
Could you tell us a little about your creative process?
My creative process is linked to observation (watching). I’m in a street subculture, I communicate and interact, I ask questions. My projects are answers to them. When I do performances, the actors are the guys from the streets. They don’t know what art is. They have no concepts. It’s really important for me. The viewer never draws attention to the boys in their lives. It’s a clash! Experience and process are basic for me. My hero has to be in the moment / here and now. It’s like a rebirth. When I shoot video, I move away from life. I become an observer. But I’m still into the situation. I don’t manipulate. Reality looks through me.
What are you reading at the moment?
Now I am reading “Performance art: from Futurism to the Present” by Roselee Goldberg! In general, I like to read philosophy, especially the French. I love. Gilles Deleuze’s books for example. My website has a section called “Inspiration”. I often add new names to it. Of course, in my list I have Larry Clark, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring. I was fortunate to work with the curator Francesco Bonami _for me it’s a cult person who created my favorite book “The Fourth Sex”.
What artists and things inspire you the most?
Among photographers I love Kevin Amato. I’m inspired by movies! I like James Bolton, Harmony Korine, ukrainian filmmaker Alexander Shapiro, Khotinenko with his film “Odyssey 1989”. But my main inspiration is the street subculture! I listen russian rap and on this wave I create my work. My friends who make hip hop music or ride on skateboards or just create clothing as designers inspire me the most!
And what about your future projects?
Now I’m doing sound performances in the group 85/91. I’m going to St. Petersburg for festival VIDEOFORMA (29-30 october). I’ll be there to show one of our sound performances.
Interview published in the October 2011 issue of U+MAG