Combining hallucinogenic mushrooms with visions of constructivist experimentation and metaphysical suprematism, the artists discover irrational impulses both in the utopias of the heroic avant-garde and in contemporary references to its legacy. Interested in myths and mythmaking, Elagina and Makarevich examine the popularity of avant-garde aesthetics in the contemporary iconosphere. Fly agarics with their narcotic properties become in the artists’ project a visual metaphor of the irrationality of the delirious visions of post-revolutionary Moscow architecture and the no less hallucinatory forms of new buildings (popping up like mushrooms) in the capital of the Russian empire.
The mushrooms on Malevich’s architectons may be referred to the ways in which iconic works of the Russian avant-garde function in contemporary culture. In their joint projects, the two artists hearken back to avant-garde art, grand utopias and Soviet history, commenting ironically on the redistribution of myths in the creation of present-day Russian culture.
Image rights: Profile
"Mushrooms of the Russian Avant-garde", State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 2005
"Mushrooms of the Russian Avant-garde", A Foundation, London, 2008
"Art Analysis", State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 2015
About Elena Elagina & Igor Makarevich