The Moscow art scene is getting destroyed. Career artists
are escaping to the West. You can meet them in Berlin or
Amsterdam. Many of the artists who stay here are having to
change their occupation since there is no longer any state
support and it's practically impossible to find a part-time
(and well-enough paid) job and have free time for art.
Another problem is that art institutions are in deep crisis.
Context is getting very blurred.
I personally like such situations.
I don't think that art is a middle-class domain. The
contemporary art system – galleries, museums, magazines –
has always been the only possible system for Russian
artists, the only target. We have very shifted ideas about
underground and left-wing activity here, in the country
where Marxism-Leninism won. To be in the underground here
means to be an amateur artist. To a certain extent, all
Russian artists are underground artists simply because they
are not a part of (the Russian) mainstream - even Kabakov.
Russian art is something that almost does not exist. It
actually exists only as a reflection in the Western art
system's curved mirror.
That brings me a personally unique and delightful feeling of
being in between: mainstream and underground, East and West.
The Internet helps me to enjoy such a situation; it brings
more uncertainty in my state.
I am trying to involve more artists in the Internet, but
most of them have the usual middle-class mentality and don't
speak English. There is another problem – of culture
differences. Russian art (even visual) is very much
literature-based. Artists have problems with communication
and don't believe that they can be resolved.
But things are changing little by little…