The latest exhibition from the Street Art Museum takes a fresh new look at the role of myths in contemporary society.
On 19 May, the Street Art Museum presented its new ‘Skazochnaya Strana StreetArtiya’ exhibition, translated as ‘The Fairytale Land of Street Art’. The name speaks for itself: every work of art at the exhibition gives a distinct take on the role of myths in our lives and the status of myth in the modern world. Forty-five artists from Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia gathered in St Petersburg and shared their views on the types of myths that occupy the minds of people in the 21st century.
The main goal of this large-scale summer project is to turn spectators’ visits to the exhibition into an adventure on the borderline between myth and reality. Unlike previous expositions, the Street Art Museum used both the outdoor area with its walls and gates to display works, as well as the expansive foyers and hallways of Kotelnaya art space for massive installations and art objects, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves into the mysterious and utopian atmosphere of the project.
Street Art Wonderland is a curious combination of different art pieces scattered around the museum that make up a bizarre mosaic of images and statements. At the opening ceremony, Andrey Zaytsev, the curator of the Street Art Wonderland exhibition project, had this to say:
“Throughout the whole history of mankind, myths satisfied one of the key existential dilemmas posed by human beings: the desire to explain the world around us and find our place in it. Myth in its initial definition is long gone, but the questions remain as well as the need to tell stories.”
That much is true: when guests arrive at the museum, they are welcomed by a sign saying “From Skazochnaya [Wonderland] With Love” by Misha Marker — a huge red Soviet-style banner at the entrance to the Street Art Museum, immediately setting the mood for the experience that lies ahead.
Among other exhibits at Street Art Wonderland, one can find many unconventional and thought-provoking works of art that leave a lasting impression. Lolofonico, a street artist from Spain, created an impressive mural portraying myths about collectors, artists and curators, including familiar misunderstandings between the artist and the curator, the viewer and the artist, and the collector and the artist. The central symbol is Leviathan, who creates and destroys artistic spirit. Sabek, another painter from Spain, took on environmental problems with a work depicting an ancient black dragon, representing animals that are now extinct and remain as myths, and a red and black raven, representing the species that are dying out. Italian artist Dissenso Cognitivo elaborated on the idea of futuristic myths created by comic books and sci-fi.
One work at the exposition that particularly strikes a chord is CARDBOARDIA, created by a group of Russian artists. They built an installation about elections in an imaginary land that provokes reflection about political issues in modern Russia. The people of Cardboardia are given one candidate to choose from in the mock elections and they choose a tyrant.
The Street Art Wonderland exhibition will be on display until 30 September 2018.
Address: Shosse Revolutsii, 84 (the nearest metro stations are ‘Ladozhskiy vokzal’, ‘Novocherkasskaya’, and ‘Finlandskiy vokzal’)
Ticket price: 400 roubles; 300 roubles for students
For further information about Street Art Museum and the participants of the lectures and workshops: www.streetartmuseum.ruan