During the Amsterdam Art Weekend 2015 Van Zijll Langhout / Contemporary Art is pleased to present the work of Leonid Tsvetkov (painting) and Lev Ilizirov (photography). The two artists met during their residency at the Rijksakademie 2009-2010, where they collaborated on a number of projects. More recently, they have been engaging in a conversation about conceptions of borders, territory, and homeland. At the end of November they will show a series of works reflecting that conversation.
For this installation, Tsvetkov’s paintings expand upon an earlier project involving the oxidization of found objects on paper. Previous installations initiated during his residency at The American Academy in Rome (2012) and presented at Art Rotterdam (2013) explored the interaction of eroding physical and cultural landscapes with history and the idea of the ruin. Ilizirov’s photographs have also been concerned with the passing of time and the abiding
presence of the past. His work on “Fade Out” and “9000 at 1” looks back in time to reconsider the past and to redefine the understanding of reality. Tsvetkov and Ilizirov are now combining their efforts to address a shared history of nomadism, reflecting upon their disparate and yet common experience of displacement. As their own experiences illustrate, landscapes and territories as well as concepts and perceptions are inherently unstable, despite
attempts to assert control and define boundaries over place, time, and memory. Human and natural limits are never fully secure while certainty, safety, and home remain elusive goals. As their earlier work has also shown, whatever exists around and on a border separates, is reconfigured, and begins to mix once again; indeed, the closer one gets to lines of separation the more blurred these lines become. The current installation revisits this phenomenon, but
within a shared dialogue about the impossibility of achieving physical, social, and conceptual constraints. Forces, people and desires inevitably spill over their limits and recede again.
Responding to this apparent chaos with dialogue rather than conflict, Tsvetkov and Ilizirov present a meditation on borders, transformations, and possibility.
About Leonid Tsvetkov Russia, 1980
Tsvetkov’s work seeks to understand the intersections of culture and nature and attempts to comprehend notions of shifting culture and disparate ways of living. His work examines traditional conceptions of aesthetic beauty and practical design from objects typically regarded as waste. It is within the fringe residues and discarded matter that Tsvetkov seeks to represent the social meaning of various ways of life, as rooted in his personal explorations of
religious and cultural dogmas through travels across Europe, Asia and Africa. Within this framework, he touches upon the juncture of the urban and the rural, cultural exchange, and the process of fluid working environments.
Leonid Tsvetkov holds an MFA from Yale University. When he is not traveling, he splits his time between the USA and the Netherlands.
About Lev Ilizirov Russia, 1979
Lev Ilizirov works in photography, installation, video, and text to emphasize the important role of observation in the production of an image. Incorporating his present surrounding as material for his work, he calls attention to the impact of framing on the perception of an object or a scene. Collection of images also contributes to the ever-growing archive of visual and material traces of human reflection, offering a vital tool for further study of the passage of
time and the comprehension of memory. Through photography he searches for questions and reasons for unknown pasts as well as possible consequences for futures that have yet to be realized. For Ilizirov answers are irrelevant in any case since they are inspired by beliefs and knowledge rather than by a openness to surprise and transformation. Therefore he choses to watch the world, wondering about it.
Lev Ilizirov was educated at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, IL (2003-2008) and completed a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in 2009-2010. He lives and works in Paris.