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Galerie Sophia Ungers, Cologne. February 1th – March 7th, 1992

JOLLES: How do the two types of your activity – the artist and the publisher – augment one another?

ZAKHAROV: I think that the installation in the Galerie Sophie Ungers can supply a partial answer to this question. What’s interesting is that here, the Pastor journal has been turned inside out: its texts and illustration have been scaled down to the point of illegibility and printed out on red paper. The two colors used in the exhibition – blue and red – stand out in stark contrast to the academic black-and-white of the journal. Individual pages from the journal are not only on show at the gallery, but also in the shop windows of the Italian restaurant Tomatissimo, a Turkish travel agency, or a kiosk on the street. Leading to the gallery, they create a trail of decoys, which you could see as a fishing line or a scoop net, which is supposed to lure in the spectator.



The metal gate in front of the gallery, reminiscent of a floodgate, easily slams shut, so that the visitor literally creeps through a crack from which it is difficult to find any way back. The spectator is caught in the net of the gallery, where three types of my work are presented in a strange way: my work as a publisher (the Pastor journal), as an artist (Madame Shlyuz’ Ballet School), and as an archivist (an object-fountain: water trickles from the hole in a file-folder’s spine). The installation in the Galerie Sophie Ungers could be read as a process of crystallization, in which one word is enough to begin the formation of an entire textual system in one instant. The crystal vases, jammed in between the pages on the walls, illustrate this process, while the balls of crumpled paper represent the action of archiving itself. Madame Shlyuz’ Ballet School sets everything into motion: table,
water, sounds. The spinning table is also supposed to be reminiscent of spiritualist seances with flying furniture and hovering place settings. This gives rise to the association of ritual ablutions in churches and river locks. In the exhibition space, the babble of trickling water blends in with music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, connecting the artist and the publisher. *Shlyuz (Russ.) = floodgate. Kunstbulletin. No. 3, 1992. Text edited by the author in 2005



Photos, Archive by V.Zakharov