Vladimir Kozin - “RUBBERS”

St. Petersburg Arts Project (NY)
cordially invites you

Vladimir Kozin
at Frants Gallery Space (NY)

at Frants Gallery Space (New York )

Opening: Friday, September 18 - 2009

Text from “Kommersant” on English and Russian. RTF 23kb


It seems like galoshes were called product “number one” by the language of soviet official papers. They were dull and unpleasant, according to those days’ fashion, but now they became amusing and even stylish. In the same time it is a bit creepy thing, if you remember the unforgettable “Krasnyj Treugolnik” (“Red Triangle”) – a place of forced labour, called “chemistry”, where galoshes were produced. Rubber product “number two” was a condom – an amusing, indecent and even secret, but very unpleasant thing, according to soviet way of thinking. Now it is banal, like a sugar candy. There are also enemas, pipettes, pacifiers, gas masks, police batons – tools of salvation and suffering.

In short - rubber is not an ordinary material.

It stretches not only physically, but also in time, and despite all plasticity, softness and kind of pliability to deforming forces, it always returns to its prior form. It also returns us either in soviet past, or in disillusioning reality.

Vladimir Kozin works with rubber from automobile tires, which covered thousands of kilometers on the roads of boundless Russia, becoming rough, scarred, worn out and cut, coloured in dirty black, sleek. Rubber stinks and soils hands, it is too corporeal, like skin, and in the same time malignantly chemical, hostile to the human, like fell of an ancient reptile.

This half dead, half alive matter was cut it in pieces, pierced with cramps and strained over wires by the artist. As a result of such sadistically constructive actions, came half objects, half paintings, half sculptures.  Archetypes are painfully familiar: order of Lenin, logotype of “Pravda” (“The Truth”) newspaper, “Burlaks on Volga” painting, Malevich’s squares and baby’s bootees.

Artist turns things that should be vividly coloured into black shadows, flat into sculpture, small into monumental and dead into more dead.

Heavyweight and feeble, spooky and amusing, ridiculous and faultlessly logical rubber products suddenly become memorials to itself: uneven caoutchouc resembles memorial granite, protruding wireframes remind of bars or barbed wire, and black colour sums up everything.

Kozin had permanent reputation of a mocker.  Now, it seems like jokes are over.

Text: Marina Koldobskaya


Vladimir Kozin was born in 1953, Lvov, Russia.
Graduated Leningrad Higher Arts and Crafts College, named after V.I. Mukhina (architecture and decorative plastics faculty) in 1980.
Union of Artists member since 1984.
Member of St. Petersburg humanitarian fond “Free Culture”.
Since 1996 participant of art alliance “Tovarischestvo Novye Tupye” (“New Nerds Partnership”).
Director of alternative mobile museum of contemporary art “Myshelovka“ (“Mousetrap”).
In 2000 founded “Parazit” gallery which has no constant physical address, together with Vladimir Flyagin.
In 2006 opened the smallest gallery in St. Petersburg which area is 10×15 square meters.

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Posted on September 23rd, 2009 by admin and filed under In United States |