Victory Over The Future
53rd Venice Biennale, Russian Pavilion
press preview opens June 3
Coolville part II
Solo Project, Basel Switzerland
St Jakobshalle, Bruglingerstrasse, 19-21 Basel
press preview opens June 8
Georgii “Gosha” Ostretsov will represent The Russian Federation in the
53rd Venice Biennale, with Victory Over The Future, curated by Olga Sviblova. Ostretsov has created a site specific, autobiographical
installation, speaking about the life of an artist.
In the pavilion, the viewer will walk through a space divided by a series of decrepit walls created from salvaged wood and representing the different phases in the cycle of life. At the far side of the room the artist has created a figure seated at a desk lost in thought. The sculpture is a self portrait of the artist. Seemingly hypnotized, the animated sculpture
draws a repetitive circle on a piece of paper. The obsessive repetition represents nullity and eternity at the
same time; the artist works, therefore defeating death. The small personal spaces, like a symbol of salvation,
are an island of security, while the paintings which line the walls are comforting in their seeming familial
Supported by established galleries in both Europe and America, The Solo Project, timed to coincide with Art
40 Basel, offers a different approach to viewing art in a temporary exposition environment. By building a
series of consecutive rooms without isles, the viewer will pass thorough each exhibition space, interacting with
the works on display. These well constructed spaces give the art more 'room to breath', the artists more room
to make a clear presentation and the visitors an environment in which the works can be considered as a
body of work rather than a single piece.
Here, Ostretsov will present Coolville part II. The visitor will arrive to
Claire Oliver Gallery’s Project space to be confronted by a
completely built shanty town. Entering inside the structure, they will
find the second half of the comic book story Coolville, painted on
mural-sized canvases which will create an interior room – walls and
ceiling - installed into the old wood structure. Ostretsov tells his story
of a super hero artist who prevails over drudgery and evil in Coolville. The super heroic in this action-packed parody create a utopia of art as an active, although not always simple, political power, black
humor and satire, working in the vein of absurdity that has been an
enduring characteristic of Russian culture.
Part One of Coolville will run at Claire Oliver Gallery from May 22
through July 4, 2009 and Part Two of Coolville will be presented at
Solo Projects, Basel Switzerland from June 8 through the 14, 2009.