Alexander Adamov:

Alexander Adamov: "The future will be"

А.А.: "Probably, I can be described as a new person who was placed in some kind of environment, but he does not understand why the environment is as it is, has such mechanisms, such rules..."
A conversation with the artist and the premiere of the video art "Kab lyubіts Belarus" ("To love Belarus")

ArtContext:  Alexander, please tell us how you became an artist and why?

А.А.: Somehow I did it! It's trendy to say that I didn't want to be that one. Rather, it is interesting to put into practice some ideas that pop up in my head, I want to see something in the world around me that I have not seen. I would like to talk about exciting topics with like-minded people who are just as not indifferent to their work. It's like a business, its own business, only in a situation where profit is not in the first place.

"Postcard from the Motherland", 2020

ArtContext: I know that you have done and are doing many different works from different types and genres of art, somewhere the works are material, like your "Non-games", somewhere this is a video in Tik-Tok, your "Mini-lessons ". Maybe you thought about how you would define what you do, your genre, style? It seems to me that you could be a representative of some new direction of art.

А.А.: This is definitely not a direction, and it is difficult to talk about directions now. Medium, directions, style –  these are not the things that define my activity. There is an affinity for themes in my works, the optics of paradox and absurdism are clearly traced. Probably, I can be described as a new person who was placed in some kind of environment, but he does not understand why the environment is as it is, has such mechanisms, such rules. The absurd moments are system failures, gaps that open slightly and you want to have time to capture and show them. Therefore, by the way, the “educational” tone in the works is very noticeable, I recently realized this for myself.

Restart ?/ Myadel, Belarus, 2021

Author's comment: "The question "Restart?" is used here in two contexts: visually it refers to digital aesthetics, and conceptually it refers to the process of returning to a romanticized past. In games, the answer "I don't know" is impossible, but in practice this question is very difficult to weave into a political context, self-determination and confusion. Street art in Myadel on the day of voting for amendments to the constitution.

ArtContext: Are your "Non-games" pieces in demand? Who is interested in them, do people buy them? It seems to me that this project is an excellent example of capturing events, the atmosphere, the mood of the time, and collectors of contemporary Belarusian art should have at least one of the works from this series in their collection.

 А.А.: Yes, not-toys, probably the most popular work of my already created. Absolutely different people are interested in it, a lot of strangers. But right away it's hard to say that they are strangers because there is a relationship in the moment of understanding why it's cool. About collectors. As far as I know, only one person identified himself as a collector and bought a whole box of not-toys, a collector from Vilnius. This was a very important moment for me because it is a set, a series that I consider the existence of non-toys. The mechanism of understanding time and space in which not-toys were created reveals itself mostly in this form.

Labyrinth "Evacuation plan", from the "Non-games" series, photopolymer, plexiglass, 13*13*1, 2021
Set "Personal Monument", from the “Non-games” series, a copy of the transformer sculpture of the same name by the artist Mikhail Gulin. The set includes: three pink cubes, one yellow box, 6 instruction cards, instruction-context, size 12*8*5 cm, 2021.
Set "Personal Monument", from the “Non-games” series, a copy of the transformer sculpture of the same name by the artist Mikhail Gulin. The set includes: three pink cubes, one yellow box, 6 instruction cards, instruction-context, size 12*8*5 cm, 2021.
"Non-games" set

ArtContext: Please tell us more about your "Mini-lessons" in Tik-Tok, how did they appear? You ask questions to the public asking them to solve problems. How is the audience involved in this interactive? Are you getting what you expected from the project?

А.А.: The idea came up in Berlin this spring when I was visiting my friends. When it was a month how I left Belarus, when the news from Ukraine piled up on top of each other and each one became more and more difficult. And outside my window at the same time I saw the spring, blooming trees, many interesting people and many impressions of a new place. And at some point it seemed that it remains to record objective data in your work. For example a bomb falls more than a thousand kilometers from me and a family dies. Even in this description of the seemingly objectivity of mileage, the fact is born that the data is only hiding behind objectivity. It is the same with thousands of “zmagary” (word means fighter in Belarusian language, using by propaganda with a disparaging context to those who are against the dictatorship in Belarus)  who left (not every single person with their own fate and their trials), thousands of migrants and other figures that are thrown into the information field.

As for engagement, yes. Tik-Tok as a platform also contributes to this. People from different countries and cities are drawn into watching the video, trying to solve problems or changing the rules, as in the task with the correct spelling of the words “war, pain, suffering”: the guys from Ukraine insisted that pain and war should be written in Ukrainian with Ukrainian letter “i” (compare: «война, боль» in Russian and «війна, біль»).

Screenshot from the video of one of the mini-lessons

ArtContext: How is the Curator of Art Critics doing? Where is he now, could his art history activity be relevant at the present time?

А.А.: He went underground! Sometimes it gives out something because I continue to follow what is happening at home, Belarus. I don’t know about relevance but sometimes it’s already unbearable to do something on his behalf, the absurdity rolls over.

Screenshot from the video interview of the Curator of Art Critics “Vasilisa Polyanina. Passion resting in a line", 2021

ArtContext: Your latest work is the video art "Kab lyubіts Belarus" based on the famous song (“To love Belarus”, original song by Pesniary, the famous Belarusian group in 70-90th, their popularity in the Soviet Union was often compared with The Beatles) . We are making its premiere on the ArtContext platform, it has not been shown anywhere yet. A kind of alternative anthem, mainly to Belarusians who left, a way to unite the nation, as far as I can see it. There is no irony, humor in it, as in many of your works, but there is some bitterness. How was the idea of ​​creating this video born and why this form?

Screenshot from Alexander Adamov's video art "Kab lyubits Belarus", 2022

А.А.: It’s hard to agree that this is an anthem - a great honor!) In 2021 I met one person, an elderly photographer who travels around Belarus with great pleasure and photographs what sinks into his soul. He has an unimaginable number of pictures! He literally insists on viewing them, calls and comes to various museums and galleries, declares his great desire to exhibit. I don’t know how to explain it, but it creates a strange effect of uselessness, uninterestingness of these pictures. But on their own, apart from the fate and interests of this photographer. When he said that he loves Belarus, this phrase somehow sounded differently, and the line “Love Belarus” immediately popped up in my head. Moreover, this line is tinged with regret, saying, “here is to love her, but…”. Later, I wanted to somehow continue this idea and create a score, conditionally called “Chorus for Belarusians”. And now this idea has been refracted into such a video, karaoke in its structure and form.

ArtContext: Tell us where you are now, what do you plan to do, how do you see the nearest creative future?

А.А.: I am in Warsaw, getting to know the environment, doing my work, meeting friends, cycling and learning the language. I try not to plan: once in 2020 I planned with a girl to go with bikes to Gdynia for a festival, and then it started. Therefore, no, no plans, except for the next day I try not to plan. And the future will be what - we'll see!

Instagram of Alexandr
"Mini-lessons" in Tik-Tok
Alexander's YouTube channel
Website of Alexander

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