‘Artistic Style Is a Mirror of the Soul’
A personal exhibition of Alexander Dzhikia, Professor the HSE School of Art and Design and Supervisor of the School’s track in Environmental Design, is now open at HSE ART GALLERY. HSE News Service spoke with the artist about how to search for one’s own style and why our environment needs to be designed by professionals.
The displayed works of Alexander Dzhikia are executed in a range of genres, including graphics, installations, objects, and photographs. For the exposition creator, as he himself says, art has no limits. He has been painting, writing poetry, and creating graphics for decades.
‘If a person has a wide range of interests and he knows a lot (not only in terms of art), then his works will also be wide-ranging and reflect his identify. After all, an artist’s style is a mirror of his soul. When searching for one’s own style, it’s more important to discover yourself than to search for your method,’ says Dzhikia.
The exhibition showcases the artist’s earliest works—his first attempts of honing his own artistic language. Despite the fact that these works, in the artist’s opinion, are ‘inept’, they bear a trace of his identity and contain a special energy of youth.
‘In the 1980s, for us students, the artists who were exciting were the artists who had already long ceased to be so in the West. You can’t explain this effect of belated time to the internet generation, but we were inspired by the avant-garde of the 20s. We loved Picasso and Rodchenko, who were long “out of date” there,’ says the artist.
According to the artist, his works of this period are quite independent: he didn’t look at foreign art magazines, and was by and large not familiar with current western art. ‘However, even back then the world was one and the same ideas were in the air. If I had ended up in New York during those years, I would have been close to the punk expressionists like Jean-Michel Basquiat. Only even then, I probably would have been a little more educated and a bit more cheerful.’
The works of this period (the early 80s) reflect the life of the author and his friends. Students who visited the exhibition shared their impressions of the professor’s work.
‘I’ve been wanting to see Professor Dzhikia’s exhibition for a long time, since I’ve seen his works online. His work is unusual. Very few artists render forms like him. I like how he depicts people. These are magnificent pieces,’ says Liza Goncharova, a second-year student of the Environmental Design track.
Natia Ananidze, also a student of the Environmental Design, which is headed by Alexander Dzhikia, says that she applied to HSE specifically so she could learn from him. ‘The exhibition is stunning. I love Professor Dzhikia’s work and am always inspired by it. I advise prospective students to apply to HSE—here you can have freedom of expression, which really helps you develop as a professional.’
According to Professor Dzhikia, environmental design is a significant subfield of design that speaks to the current moment. ‘Environmental design is a large area of design, adjoining architecture, modern art, and even theatrical performance. We try to teach students how to create artistic images of the habitat of the modern human—most often this is a resident of a large city. You don’t have to go far for examples—they can be found throughout our entire urban space, from subway cars to parades on Red Square.’
Architects create structures, and environmental designers fill these constructions with meaning, determining what will happen in these spaces, says Alexander Dzhikia.
The professor believes that the main trait a specialist in this field should have is the ability to think in images and envision future structures. The ability to build relationships with customers and contractors plays a significant role, as well. ‘Environmental design is a more extroverted profession than simply design. It involves constant collaboration with other specialists. We do not teach psychology, but I always try to emphasize that the ability to find a common language with people is no less important than talent.’
On May 17, the ‘Light and Air’ group exhibition project was opened by students of the HSE Art and Design School at the Arkhangelskoye Museum Estate. The exhibits created by the university’s contemporary artists in training reflect on how people are connected with nature. The exhibition is open until July 9.
The ‘Screen Arts. Roll Call’ cultural and educational project of the HSE Art and Design School will be exhibited at the Baltic branch of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Kaliningrad until July 16, 2023. The project is a continuation of an HSE ART GALLERY exhibition held in September 2022. The exhibition presents a dialogue between three generations: pioneers of video art in Russia, young classicists, and students of the HSE Art and Design School who are uncovering new possibilities in screen arts.
On March 7, the HSE Art Gallery hosted the opening of ‘Design Futures: Synesthesia’, an exhibition featuring works by students of product and jewellery design at the HSE Art and Design School. The event runs from March 9–May 7.
HSE University-St Petersburg Art and Design School and Hungarian Cultural Centre Open Joint Exhibition
HSE University-St Petersburg is hosting the exhibition 'From Hódmezővásárhely to Mosonmagyaróvár: A Typographic Journey around Hungary'. The exhibition showcases lettering compositions devoted to ten Hungarian cities and created by students of the HSE University-St Petersburg Art and Design School. The opening ceremony was attended by the director of the Hungarian Cultural Centre and the science and technology attaché of the Embassy of Hungary in the Russian Federation.
The photo exhibition ‘Kamchatka: Your Amazing Adventure’ was officially opened as part of the Days of Kamchatka event held by HSE University in the building on Pokrovsky Boulevard from January 19 to February 10. Visitors will learn about life in the region through photos of the unique landscapes and wildlife sanctuaries of the peninsula, the traditional Beringia dog-sled race, and the main symbols of the Kamchatka Region—brown bears, Pacific salmon, and wild reindeer.
From November 9 to December 4, the HSE ART GALLERY is hosting an exhibition of works by students and lecturers of the HSE Art and Design School. The ‘Defining Yourself: Subject / Process / Identity’ exhibition lays the foundation of a multidisciplinary project about building connections between folk crafts, artistic practices, and modern research. The exhibition also has a parallel programme in the form of a curatorial excursion, an open talk, and an evening of performances.
On September 9th, the Zaryadye Park Media Center and Underground Museum opened an exhibition of graduates from Moscow art universities ‘GRADUATION'22’. Graduates of HSE Art and Design School are taking part in the event. The grand opening of the exhibition was timed to coincide with the park’s first anniversary.
In June, the HSE ART GALLERY opened the final exhibition under the general curatorial theme ‘In a Land Faraway’. The exhibition displays the best works by students, graduates, and lecturers of the HSE Art and Design School created over the past year. Thousands of artists applied to participate in the exhibition.
Alexei Ryumin, curator of the HSE Art and Design School's track in Animation and illustration has launched The Permanent Exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is being held as part of MMOMA's Young Art Support Programme can be seen until May 15.
In February and March, a specially commissioned series of open talks by professors from Goldsmiths, University of London, will be held online. Professor Anna Furse, Co-Director of the HSE PeARL Performance Research Lab, will be hosting the lectures. In the first session (on February 3), Professor Atau Tanaka will speak about embodied musical interactions.