The Blue Noses

The Blue Noses
Kitchen Suprematism at Inauguration exhibition new spaces Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris 2017

© Rebecca Fanuele

The Blue Noses
Naked Truth, 2007
Edition of 50 ex
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
Mask show, 2007
Color photography, framed
Edition of 7 ex
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
Chechen merilyn, 2007
Color photography, framed
Edition of 10 ex
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
Era of Mercy, 2005
C-Print, framed
75 x 100 cm
Edition of 10 ex + 2 AP
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
Hot Heads, 2005
Color photography, framed
70 x 100 cm
Edition of 10 ex
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
Hot Heads, 2005
Color photography, framed
70 x 100 cm
Edition of 2 ex
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
Sex Suprematism, 2004
Color photography
50 x 65 cm
Edition of 10 ex
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris

The Blue Noses
The Little Men - Biliards, 2004
1 cardboard box, 1 DVD player, 1 projector and 1CD-ROM, 0:44 min
Edition of 7 ex + 3 AP
l'artiste & Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris


Text by Andrei Yerofeyev, in Venicia biennale catalog, 2005.

The BLUE NOSES GROUP is the most impressive phenomenon at the turn of the 21st century. The main body of the Group is formed by a couple of artists, who have come to Moscow from the eastern regions of Russia ? Viacheslav Mizin from Novosibirsk and Alexander Shaburov from Ekaterinburg. They often work in cooperation with two other Novosibirsk artists ? Konstantin Skotnikov and Alexander Bulnygin ? and photographer Evgeny Ivanov. Besides, the Group often invites their friends-artists, relatives, children, curators and gallery workers as extra players. Sometimes they give the joint performances with Novosibirsk rock-group ?Nuclear Elk?.

The principal genre of The Blue Noses is a sort of performances, to be more exact ? pranks, sketches or gags, played by the artists before the video camera. These pranks are not the rehearsed plays but a symbiosis of ?pat roles? and impromptus. It is as remote from theatre acting and direction as a photograph or video clips are far from photographic or video art. The ?documented? pranks of the BLUE NOSES GROUP are hanging between everyday and artistic phenomena, looking like a semi-professional, semi-amateur activity, in which the intentional fiasco is indistinguishable from dilettante lapse.

Unlike the majority of artistic groups, arising in Russia in large quantities and working as launching pads for the individual creative activity of their participants, the foundation of The BLUE NOSES GROUP drew a line under its members? personal careers. It applies first of all to Mizin, Shaburov and Skotnikov. Behind any one of them is the more or less successful, though not very long individual haul in the wake of one of the contemporary art tendencies. When joining the Group, they consciously threw away their previous experiences and distanced from the contemporary art as such. They don?t want to appear as ?contemporary artists?.

The distancing from the contemporary culture is a basic strategy of the Group, evidenced in the variety of jesting practices. Parody, humour, grotesque ? all methods of opponents? derogation by means of caricaturing are widely used by the Blue Noses. Firstly, they mock all ?high? trends in the 20th-century art ? from suprematism to radical performances. Secondly, they don?t spare the masscult. The most popular TV-shows, the leading genres of box-office films and bestsellers like ?Harry Potter? are dished up by the Group in a pinheaded, idiotic manner. Lastly, the Blue Noses attack the pantheon of the most authoritative public characters, mingling them with egregious criminals and ugly muzzles into the general esbat-carnival. It may be said that all actions of this group are animated by a priori dislike for all attempts to reconstruct the system of ?positive values?, whoever these attempts makes. The poetics of any Blue Noses? performance is based on the demonstration of a brush with the certain ?value? and the merry laugh after the facile and overwhelming victory.

The Blue Noses artists address their laughter at the overthrow of ideals chiefly to ? as they always underscore ? the two categories of citizens: ?pioneers and pensioners?. These marginalized age groups, indeed, take special delight in harsh and unconcealed cynicism, from the angle of which they estimate the positive efforts of the middle-aged and ?the most responsible? part of the Russian society.

Children represent the generation, which was completely lost by the power structures and avoided the brainwashing of perestroika period; pensioners are the people of Brezhnev?s epoch, whose cynical attitude towards life was formed in the 1970s as the reaction to hypocrisy, bribery and stupidity of the authorities and the oppositionists of all persuasions.

The humoristic cynicism, expressed in extravagant and ?idiotic? pranks, has more than once served as a platform for the good sense and freedom spirit in the time, when neither of the competing ideologies ? both in culture and politics ? seemed convincing and morally justified. This was the situation of the tsarist Russia in the early 20th century (the ideological crisis of that period generated the radical society ?The Donkey Tail?); the similar situation arose in the 1930s, predetermining the emergence of D. Kharms. In the stagnant atmosphere of the 1970s it was the eccentric duet of V. Komar and A. Melamid; in the early 1980s ? the Mukhomor [Fly-Agaric] Group. These groups were utterly devoid of ?tinkering?, work-making spirit. On the contrary, they found the real art in the circumstances, when ? preprogrammed neither in design nor in language ? the strange, paradoxical reasoning and behaviour arise quite unexpectedly, destroying the fitness of things.
The Blue Noses art doesn?t need creations. Their ?prank? as a special kind of artistic form may be reproduced and felt apart from the original, only by means of retelling or reminiscing. One needn?t even know the Russian language or the Russian everyday life. It is generally assumed that the BLUE NOSES GROUP is an archetypal Russian phenomenon, ascending to the traditions of ecstatic crankeries of God?s fools, Orthodox monks and Siberian shamans. On the other hand, the Blue Noses may be in the tideway of other, European atheistic ?black humour? tradition, aimed at the deconstruction of cultural, sacral and moral standards, which facilitate the control over society and the suppression of individuality.

It is not by accident that in five years (the Group was created in 1999) the Blue Noses made a slapping career in Europe. Today their photographic and video works are presented at the majority of international exhibitions and in the leading artistic magazines. The Group is definitely at the peak of its career, coinciding with the intersection of the trajectories of the Russian and the international communities? development. ?The pranks? of the Group are universally accepted, as they tally with not only Russian state of mind, but also with the planet?s time spirit as a whole.

Solo exhibitions

From Siberia with Love, 1999-2009, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France
A la russe, Galerie In SITU Fabienne leclerc, Paris, France
Proletarian Conceptualism, M&J Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
The Blue Noses, Tallin City Gallery, Tallin, Estonia
The Blue Noses, Art Issue project, Beijing

The framework of the book festival, Central House of Artist, Moscow, Russia
Mind Games, Han Ji Yun contemporary space, Beijing, Japan

Mind games, Galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France
Guelman gallery, Moscow, Russia
Shame on Russia..., Dhiehl Projects, Berlin, Germany
Naked truth, M&J Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Fucking Fascism, M.Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Video and photoworks 2002-2006, Matthew Brown Gallery, London, UK
Two against the Russian mafia, Marat Guelman Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
Three color: Blue, Grob Leuthen Castel, Rohkunstbau, Germany
St Petersburg Biennal, Russia
Knoll Galerie, Budapest, Hungaria
Casual cocurrences, Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
The Blue Noses, Kunstverein Rosenheim, Munich, Germany
State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
The Blue Noses, Gallery Brito Cimino, San Paulo

The Blue Noses, Etan Cohen Fine Art, New-York, USA
The Blue Noses, Gallery Volker Diehl, Berlin, Germany
The Blue Noses, KnollGalerie Wien, Vienn, Austria
Kitchen Suprematism, In SITU Fabienne Leclerc gallery, Paris, France The Blue Noses, B&D Studio Contemporanea, Milano, Italia
The Vogue of Labour, Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
The Blue Noses, Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Germany

Hit-Or-Miss Art (How to Build Up Works of Art Just in the Kitchen), Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
The Blue Noses Group, Display Gallery, Prague, Tchek Respublica

Do I Look Like a Loser?, The State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Two Against the Russian Mafia. Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Kiev, Ukraine The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
From Siberia with Love, Arsenal, Nizhnyi Novgorod, Russia
Absolut Blue Noses, The Zoological Museum, Moscow, Russia

Two Against the Russian Mafia, Kirov Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
The Contemporary Siber Artists, Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Out-of-Town Excursions-2, L-Gallery, Moscow, Russia

The New God?s Fools or the Pathology of Performance, Zverev Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
Group exhibitions

En marge, Galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France
Kollektsia+, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Artistes russes, Un art au superlatif, Abbaye Saint André Centre d?art contemporain, France

Lap-horse video, Kuryokhin Centre, St-Petersburg
Russian Povera, Special project of Moscow biennale of Contempory Art, Red October, Moscow
Russian Project, exhibition of Russian contemporary art, Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine
Art Moscow 2009, International fair of Contempory Art, Central House of artists, Moscow, Russia
B.U Kashkin Museum, main projects of 3 Moscow biennale of Contemporary Art, garage, Moscow, Russia
Theatre confrontations, theatre festival, Centre of culture in Lublin, Poland

The Izhevsk city festival, Izhevsk, Russia
The Tunguss Meteorite at the Krasnoyarsk museum, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Russia Povera, Perm? Museum, Perm?, Russia
Demoludi festival, Olshtyn, Poland
Des coiffes décoiffent, Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie, Paris, France
Mobil Art - Chanel, Tokyo, Japan
Thaw : Russian art from Glasnot to the Present, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA
Naked Truth, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, USA

Sots Art, Art politique en Russie de 1972 à aujourd?hui, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
Revolutionary Icons, B?n?D, Milan, Italy
Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin, Germany
Asia Europe Mediations, Poznan, Poland
Learning from Moscow, Dresden city Art gallery, Dresden, Germany
Beautiful Mind, Ilia Chichkan and Blue Noses, Marat Guelamn gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
I believe, Art center Winzavod, Contemporary art biennal of Moscow, Russia
The diary of an artist, Central house of artists, Moscow, Russia
Movement, evolution and art, Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, Russia
Something about power, L-Gallery, Greendale, Norway
Soc-Art. Political Art in Russia and China, state Tretyakov gallery on Krymsky Val, Moscow, Russia
I believe, DOM Art center, Kiev, Ukraine
Shadows of avant-guardism, State Tretiakov gallery, Moscow, Russia
Contemporary art biennal of Moscow, Russia
Singulier / Pluriel, video projection, ODDC, St Brieuc, France

Musée de la Mer, 2nd festival of the photo and video, Biarritz, France Forever lost ?, Knoll gallery, Wien, Austria
Moscow biennal of contemporary art, Moscow, Russia

Always a Little Further, The Arsenale, The 51st Venice Biennale, Italia
Expanded Painting, The 2nd Prague Biennale, Tchek Respublica
The Dialectics of Hope, The Former Lenin Museum. 1st Moscow Biennale, Russia
Russia-2, Guelman Gallery, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
Gender Troubles, Moscow Museum of Moderm Art, Within the 1st Moscow Biennale, Russia
Accomplices, Collective and Interactive Works in the Russian Art of the 1960-2000s, The State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow, Within the 1st Moscow Biennale, Russia
Art-Digital-2004. I Click, Therfore I Am, M?ARS Gallery, Moscow, Within the 1st Moscow Biennale, Russia Art-Kliazma-2005, International Contemporary Art Open-Air Festival, The Winter Factor, or Snow Maidens do not Die, Boarding-House «Klyazma Water-Reservoir», Within the 1st Moscow Biennale, Russia

Bubble. Comics in Contemporary Art, Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Art-Kliazma-2004, International Contemporary Art Open-Air Festival. New Russian Reality. Boarding-House «Klyazma Water-Reservoir», Russia
Watch out! The National Museum, Oslo, Norway
Beyond the Red Horizon, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
To the Resort, The National Museum, Baden-Baden, Germany
Art-Moscow Workshop, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
Thoughts on the Motherland, A.Akhmatova?s Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
«... and others», The National Museum of Kyrgystan, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
6 Times Video, Within the 5th Moscow Photo-Biennale, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
The Festival of Intimate Photography, Reflex Gallery, Moscow, Russia
The Murmanck Connection, International Festival of Performance, Club Detox, Kirkenes, Norway
Carbon Club, Reithalle, Munich, Germany
Ahead of History. Perspectives of Art in the Baltic countries, Finland and Russia, KIASMA, Helsinki, Finland

Art-Cologne, Köhln, Germany
Electric Visions, Contemporary Video-Art Festival of Russia and Northern Europe, The Film House, St-Petersburg, Russie
Paradise Project, Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
The New Count, Digital Russia Together with Sony, Contemporary Art and New Technologies, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
The Observation Platform. Programs of the Actual Art, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia Art-Constitution, Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
Art-Klyazma, International Festival of Contemporary Art.Boarding-House, Klyazma Water-Reservoir, Russia Projection, Arsenal, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Absolut Generation, Within the 50th Venice Biennale, Palazzo Zenobio, Venice, Italia
Art-Moscow Workshop, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
We-They, Art-Moscow, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
Davai! The Free Russian Art Now, Izhevsk, Cheboksary, Russia
Redefining Identifies. The Russian Contemporary Art and the Age of Globalization, Tate-Modern, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK

The Center of Attraction, Triennial exhibition of the Baltic Countries, Vilnius*, Lituania Davai! The Free Russian Art Now, Postfuhramt, Berlin, MAK, Vienna, Austria
The 4th Cetine Biennale, Montenegro
The Snow-Maiden, The New Art from Russia, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw, Poland Moscow Time, Center for Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lituania

Communication Between the Arts, The 1st Valencia Biennale, Spain
Art-Moscow Workshop 2001, 25 Contemporary Russian Artists, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia

Art-Moscow-2000, The 4th International Fair of Contemporary Art, The Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia The Dynamic Pairs.
Art Against Geography, Guelman Gallery, The Marble Palace, the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; the Central Exhibition Hall Manege, Moscow, Russia

The Crazy Double. Strategy of Imbecility in the Contemporary Art, The Central House of Artists, Moscow; then: Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Ekaterinburg, Chateau d?Oiron, France