“Fragments Of The Past”: The Superb Contemporary Industrial Paintings By Pavel Otdelnov

Pavel Otdelnov was born in 1979 in Dzerzhinsk (Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia). Member of Moscow Union of artists since 2006.

“One of the questions that I am interested in is how to grasp the present. Contemporaneity is an assemblage that is built from the fragments of the past, it appears only post factum. The image of the past can be easily reconstructed through objects and style of that period. In contrast, the present has no image. It is slipping away from detection by hiding behind triviality of the mundane, and thus becomes indecipherable. I see the opportunity to capture the present by looking at it in the mode of a time-lapse photography technique. I believe that by slowing down a gaze, I could pronounce the movement of the reality that is subtly unfolding in front of our eyes, such as the construction of highways and shopping malls, the erection of cities, and the appearance of new light sources that navigate an urban dweller in a megapolis.

I see the static quality of painting as another opportunity to slow down a gaze and reveal a slice of moving time. Painting encapsulates time by accumulating layers of paint, and as a result it stimulates contemplation and decelerates a viewer’s look. My own gaze on the everyday is an important source of reflection for me. For example, I could catch an image of the everyday in the reflection of a room’s interior in a window glass. Another source to see the everyday is through a mechanical viewpoint of technological devices such as a photo camera or Google maps panoramas. The viewpoint of the technology points to the subjectivity of a gaze and questions a position of a viewer in relation to my painting or installation. In my work I imply the presence of people, however I never depict a human image. In fact, facing my painting viewers see their absence.”

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