Victoria Mykhonko and Daria Karavaeva
In co-authorship with rats
Canvas, wood, armed glass
A masterpiece is not just a skillfully handcrafted high-quality thing, first of all, it is an idea embodied in the work by the creator. In the era of postmodernism, the concept of the work is more important than its material expression, the purpose of art is to deliver the idea. Conceptual art objects can exist in the form of phrases, texts, diagrams, graphics, drawings, photographs, audio and video materials. Any object, phenomenon, process can become a piece of art, since conceptual art is a pure artistic gesture. But is a pure artistic gesture possible without a material expression?
Nowadays we faced the problem of the preservation of art. How to save it for the descendants? The current generation got used to store everything in digital form, in cloud services, but due to the incredible pace of technology development the rate of obsolescence of technology is increasing. Soon it will be almost impossible to extract digital versions of works of art. Traditional mediums such as paper, wood, canvases are subject to physical deterioration. This thesis is confirmed by recent events that shocked the artistic community — the theft of Kuindzhi’s painting “Ai-Petri. Crimea” from the Tretyakov Gallery, the vandal’s attack on Repin’s painting “Ivan the Terrible Kills His Son”. Furthermore, in Italy, Caravaggio’s painting “Christmas with Saint Francis and Saint Lawrence” suffered from «vandals» – a masterpiece of world scale and unconditional artistic value was destroyed by rats and the pigs. The painting could not be restored, so the restorers just had to paint a picture from scratch.
These facts raise many questions that prompt us to reflect on the theme of ephemerality, incorporeality of true art, its fragility and defenselessness