The title of the exhibition is a quote from the poem “Thirteen” by Lev Losev*. The letters “Ъ”, “Ы” and “Ь” used to sound differently in the old Russian language. The poet rhymes them with the word “beast”. Today, in this letter combination, we can only read the sound “Ы”. The impossibility of sound production seems to empty these signs, and their shape comes to the fore, reminding of how they look, not read.
Nika Neelova’s artistic practice is inspired by the architectural environment and those elements that serve as intermediaries between man and space. The artist transforms familiar objects, revealing their hidden potential: the handrails twist into spirals, the parquet board rears up, the walls expose the frame. Objects seem to reinvent themselves, proving the existence of such a world in which the ability of things to arbitrarily change shape is not an aesthetic gesture, but a law. According to Gaston Bachelard “expressive power turns into essence”. Thanks to this power, it is possible to imagine how Lev Losev’s poem “a shadow stretches behind the letters”, while in the sculptural images of Nika Neelova there is something real that the eyes do not believe in.
The three-part name of the project is correlated with the exposition, divided into three halls. The exhibition will feature the most famous series of Lemniscate sculptures, made of old wooden handrails, a large installation of Folded Studio, repeating the outlines of the perimeter of the artist’s studio in London, Lateral Cuts, wall objects imitating cross-sections of building structures, as well as other works created specifically for Moscow.
The exhibition is organized The Voznesensky Center, Moscow & HSE University’s Joint Department with the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art