Boîte the Vices

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
© Courtesy of the Artist and Jozsa Gallery
© Courtesy of the Artist and Jozsa Gallery
Boîte the Vices

24 rue Saint-Georges
B- 1050 Brussels
September 7th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Opening: September 7th, 2012 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

+ 32 2 640 06 71
Thu-Fri 12-6 or by appointment
animation, photography, digital


The project “FAITS DIVERS” turns around a photographic series of contemporary still lifes and consisting of a narrative text for each photograph.

If the historical references of the project and the use of allegorical codes obviously come from the Dutch painting of the 17th century, Olga Kisseleva’s still life pictures can be read in multiple semiotic and emotional layers thanks to all the objects that are part of the compositions.

In the 21st century, like in the 17th, the object can have different levels of meaning: through its form, material, colour and use, but also through its nature, its relation to other objects, persons or places. One can seize and interpret the references immediately.

In addition to this immediate perception, the artist will refer to her illustrious predecessors, adding another layer of meaning, the level of history or tradition, using, for example, the “dictionary of the objects” of the Northern Renaissance, the local and popular customs, the social, professional, geographical and, of course, nutritional references. The wrapping, the colours, and the absence or presence of logos are not used innocently, and so, the composition of those everyday objects will refer the viewer to a message other than just promotion(or commerce): and a story of loves, friendship, conquest or discovery.

During the creative process, the artist relied on a team of art historians, a sociologist and a writer. First they compiled a contemporary dictionary of the system of symbols of food and everyday objects. Then, writer Helena Villovich was commissioned to write 49 short stories. Inspired by the everyday life of the artist, each text is based on some keywords taken from the dictionary. Finally, a still life was composed on the basis of each story. The objects selected for the still life correspond to the keywords at the heart(or root) of the story.

Viewed as a sequence, the photographs present a chronological narrative, a panorama of the everyday, a semiological essay of contemporary food industry.

Graduated from St. Petersburg University, Olga Kisseleva (1965) is one of the most accomplished Russian artists of her generation.

From the beginning of the 90s, on the invitation of the Fulbright Foundation, she found a roof for her work in the research group in the United States which dealt with the development of digital technologies. In 1996 she is getting her PhD for her theoretical work on the theme of new forms of hybridization and she is invited to the Fine Art Institut of 'Hautes Etudes' in Paris. Since then she has been developing original work in which is oscillates between truth and untruth and she is searching for improbable boundaries that separate both. In all of her projects the viewers very much take part, thereby the artists challenges the ability of new media to create a true picture of reality.

For her first personal exhibition, Jozsa Gallery shows a selection of her most recent works - an opportunity to discover the artistic approach of this important Russian post-diaspora artist.

The lighting of 'Conclusive Evidence' shows that the distance between Brussels and St Petersburg is turning to 0.

The digital animation 'Conquistadors' examines the tensions and conflicts that define the Russian territory in the age of privatization. Ironically commenting the 'global conquests' that has become standard practice in the current stage of post-communist capitalism, this work provides a dystopian picture of space completely reappropriated by the capitalist enterprise.

In 'Fitness Art Centre', a screen is linked to a body-building machine that visitors are invited to use. Doing so activates images of demonstrators projected onto the screens but blurred by the random appearance and disappearance of big brand logos. The whole set-up bears witness to world dominated by a state of political confusion and individual manipulation.

'CrossWorlds' helps visitors to translate in real time the subliminal information in textual form. Olga Kisseleva places electronic tags detectable with a simple mobile phone in photographs or in a video-animation. Into the 'CrossWorlds - Dow Jones' the messages encoded are from propaganda both from the American style of life and from Soviet propaganda. According to Susan Buck-Morss' analysis, the similarity between them is evident although they are formulated in different ways.