Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Vladimir Tsesler and
Sergey Voichenko:
installation “Century Project:
Twelve from the XX”,
1999 – 2000

ZBOR #31

12 sculptures: wood, metal, acrylate, marble, epoxide resin, polyamide, polyester resin, acrylic, polyvinylchloride, silumin, welding, junction, polishing, sandblasting, aluminium founding, gilding, hammering

Vladimir Tsesler andSergey Voichenko:installation “Century Project:Twelve from the XX”,1999 – 2000

“Century Project: Twelve from the XX”, 1999 – 2000

 

Century Project: Twelve from the XX made by Vladimir Tsesler and Sergey Voichenko is one of the largest art events in the Belarusian art of the late 1990s – early 2000s. Created for the millennium, project came in line with the general trend of summarizing, ratings and revisions at the edge of the epochs. It can be an example of a popular culture trend to blur the boundaries between design and art typical for the ’90s.

The project is a series of 12 sculpture “portraits”, which present images of the artists selected by the authors of the project as the most important artists of the twentieth century. All twelve sculptural objects are embodied in the universal form of an egg, taken as a single module. Modification of the module size, its deformation, material and technique in each separate work emphasizes the key creative concept of every depicted person.

Brodsky’s image is shown in a clear glass ovoid object; contrast striped object is dedicated to an op-artist Vasarely; guttering golden drop-egg is Dali; Duchamp is presented as a huge “found” boiled egg, rhymed with faience sparkling of an urinal; steel egg, scarred with sledgehammers, shows Masereel; Malevich is displayed as a light-tight “egg-hole”; Mayakovsky is pictured in the form of cast iron egg-bomb; Modigliani is presented as elongated marble egg; paradoxical object, dedicated to Pablo Picasso, is composed of two miraculously connected pieces of mahogany; a similar to the air-cooled engine object shows an “artist- machine “, Jean Tinguely; a portrait of Wyeth is made of deliberately aged wood; Euchre image is made of nails.

The duo’s activities are important in terms of interdisciplinarity: both artists are also designers; their posters are exhibited in many international museum collections. Century Project: Twelve from the XX is unique project if we look at it from a technical performance point of view: it had been thoroughly developed by artists for five years, particular technological methods were carefully applied for the development of each sculpture ; complex production problems were thoughtfully solved. Project development took place in the absence of suitable working conditions in the country; therefore artists had to work with a variety of plants and factories abroad. For Tsesler and Voichenko as artists and designers, it was particularly important to have a proper exposition design. For that reason, they developed probably the most time-consuming part of the production – a system of stands, posters, packaging and catalogues. The project has been widely shown in many exhibition venues of the world and was presented at the Venice Biennale 2005.

Tsesler and Voichenko had been working in a duo from 1978 until 2004 (the year of Voichenko’s death). Today Vladimir Tsesler is considered to be a leading designer in Belarus, where he is known as an multi-task artist, who can both create an artistic conception and its corresponding technology almost in any genre, from print, which has been the author’s favorite for many years, to painting and industrial design, for example, Ё-mobile. Severity of post-modern irony, correlated with the context, culture and time is his trademark technique.

Vladimir Tsesler (born 1951, Slutsk, Belarus) – artist, designer.

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.

Sergey Voichenko (born 1955, Zhdaniv, Ukraine – † 2004, Minsk, Belarus) – artist, designer.

Lived and worked in Minsk, Belarus.

 

Text: Sergey Shabohin, Tatiana Bembel KALEKTAR ©

 

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