K A W A R G A
i n s t a l l a t i o n s s c u l p t u r e s  p a i n t i n g   C V   c o n t a c t 

Artist Dmitry Kawarga - Biomorphic radical.
Was born in Moscow. Lives and works in Moscow area.
Has a profile art education. Has started to be exposed since 1988.

Kawarga works are often described as part of the Science Art movement (or SciArt), although the artist rejects this description. The kinetic objects in his installations are created in cooperation with scientists, programmers and engineers and often allow for viewer interaction. His style has been variously described as "biomorphism" or "biogenic art".

Permanent participant of international exhibitions and technological festivals of contemporary art, including Lexsus Hybrid Art, Ars Electronica, FILE Electronic Language International Festival and others.

Laureate of The Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award (Best public Art), 2016
Honorary Mentions in the nomination Interactive Art, Prix ArsElectronica 2013
Kawarga is the winner of a competition "Monument", a memorial to the first president of Russia Boris Yeltsin. Contemporary art museum Art4.ru, 2007

Lives and works in Moscow area.

Honorary Mentions in the nomination Interactive Art, Ars Electronica 2013

Personal Expo


2019 - "Norilsk's Substance", Centrul de Interes, Cluj-Napoca, Rumania

2019 - "Museum's line", Saint Petersburg

2019 - "Anthropocentrism Toxicosis", Ferenczy Museum, Szentendre, Hungary

2018 - "Skins of Conceptual Constructions", ELECTROMUSEUM, Moscow

2018 – "Polymeric Offside", MUZEON, Moscow

2015 – "Material substance", RUSNANO, Moscow

2014 - "Biomorphic dust", St. Peterburg

2014 - "...at the deep end black fishes", The ex-cinema-theatre "Udarnik", Moscow

2012 - "Kawarga. Apocalypse 21.12", Pop/off/art Gallery, Winzavod, Moscow

2012 - "Paleo-Geo-Morphologies", Barbarian-art Gallery, Zurich

2010 - "Topography of creative evolution", GridchinHall, Moscow Area

2010 - "Ouroboros" Gallery Brissot art contemporain, Paris

2009 - "Biostructures" Barbarian-art gallery, Zurich

2009 - "Coming into the theme" gallery pop/off/art, Moscow

2007-2008 - "Trepanation of the Thought-forms" gallery pop/off/art

2007 - "Photocompressing" Business hous "Mohovaja, 7", Moscow

2005 - "Biomorphic radicalism in the destructive synthesis" gallery "Sam Brook"

2003 - "Retrospective Cut" Natural Science University, Moscow

2002 - "Project 2x10" Callery A-3

2001 - Project in cooperation with Honored Inventor of Russia V.Beshekov

1999 - "Saturated Landscape" Staraja Basmannja St.21, Moscow

1998 - "Immersion into the Summer" in Moscow branch of The World Bank

1997 - "I'm bored with everyone and I'm tired." in Beljaevo Gallery, Moscow

1994 - Murals in Theatre "Perovskaja St."

1993 - Kashirka Gallery, Moscow


Group exhibitions


2019 - «Plastic mass», The State Russian Museum / The Marble Palace

            «THE LOOKOUT», Contemporary Art Fest, Fort Konstantin

2018 – Breakthrough, Cultural Foundation Ekaterina

            Daemons in the machine, MOMA

            Moscow Innovation as an Artistic Technique, Hermitage, St. Petersburg

            The RUSSIAN ART & ANTIQUE FAIR, Manege, Moscow

           Yearning for the Sky, Special project of Moscow Biennale

            Pieter Bruegel. Inverted world, Design centre ARTPLAY, Moscow

2017 – Charity Festival «House of Hearts» Exhibition «EMPATHEIA, Moscow

            CosMoscow International Contemporary Atr Fair, Gostiny Dvor, Moscow

            Works by longlisted artists of The Kuryokhin Award, St. Petersburg

            Direct encounter, Solyanka VPA, Moscow

2016 – CosMoscow, International Contemporary Atr Fair,Gostiny Dvor

            «ARCHSTOYANIE», Nikola-Lenivets, Kaluga

            «The simple titles, selected synonyms». Botanical garden of MSU

            «Quantum Entaglement 2.0», The National Center for Contemporary Arts

2015 - "Orient Express", the special project of 6th Moscow Biennale, Centre MARS

            "Nadezhda – The Hope", the special project of 6th Moscow Biennale

            "Urals Transcendental", the special project of 6th Moscow Biennale, ArtPlay

            "Waxworks Exhibition", Palace of Culture MSTU named Bauman, Moscow

            "Promise of landscape", Museum of contemporary art PERMM

            "ArtStage Singapore", Asian art fair

2014 - "Quantum Entanglement", Laboratoria Art&Science Space,(catalog)

           "CosMoscow", International Contemporary Atr Fair, Central Manege

            "FILE", Electronic Language International Festival, Sao Paulo, (catalog)

            "ZOO-ZOO", State Darwin Museum, Moscow, (catalog)

2013 - The Kandinsky Prize, The Udarnik Cinema, Moscow, (catalog)

            "Open Innovations", Crocus Expo IEC, Moscow, (catalog)

            ViennaArtFair, Pop/off/art Gallery, Austria

            "Contemporary art in the Traditional Museum", The St. Petersbur, (catalog)

            "TOTAL RECALL", ARSELECTRONICA, Austria, Linz, (catalog)

            "Frontier", Sience-Art-Lab, Moscow

            "GOSZAKAZ" /A Governmental Order/, CCA Winzavod

            Sergey Kuryokhin Modern Art Award in nomination, (catalog)

2012 - "Resonant Matter", The Russian Museum, Marble Palace, (catalog)

           "Way. Road.", Gallery ph_Manometr, ArtPlay, Moscow

           "Lexus Hybrid Art", ArtPlay, Moscow

2011 - "Free spaces", project of 4 Moscow Biennal, Agensy ArtRu, (catalog)

           "Pro-Contra", International Symposium, 4 Moscow Biennale, (catalog)

           "Rewriting Worlds: Dada Moscow", project of 4 Moscow Biennale, ArtPlay

           "Art Moscow" 15th International Art Fair, Barbarian-Art Gallery

           "ArtFocus for Technologies: Charm&Challenge", Ekaterinburg, (catalog)

           "The Life. The science version", CAC Winzavod, Moscow, (catalog)

           "New sculpture, Chaos and Structure", New Museum, St. Pet., (catalog)

           "Distortions of the Earth", Agency ArtRu, Moscow, (catalog)

2010 - "CLUB 21", One Marylebone, project of Frieze Art Fair London, (catalog)

           "The Kandinsky Prize 2010", Central House of Artists, Moscow, (catalog)

           "Art Moscow" 14th International Art Fair, Barbarian-Art Gallery

           "A New Formalism", Museum of a City sculpture, St. Petersburg, (catalog)

           "VOLTA-6", Basel, Switzerland

            VIENNAFAIR, The International Contemporary Art Fair, (catalog)

           "Reality metamorphoses,or Games with Time", Zverev's centre, Moscow

           "0,5" Jubilee exhibition, gallery pop/off/art, Moscow, (catalog)

2009 - "New sculpture, Chaos and Structure", Coluyanka gallery, Moscow

           "Good News" OREL ART gallery, London, England, (catalog)

           "Art Moscow" 13 th International Art Fair, pop/off/art gallery

           Preview Berlin, Deutschland, (catalog)

           Basel Selection Artfair, gallery "OBOIMA Project Bureau", (catalog)

           VOLTA5, gellery "Barbarian-art", Basel, Switzerland

           "Night of museums" State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

           "Evolution of a dream", State Darwin museum

           EUROP'ART'09 Grand-Saconnex Geneva, Switzerland

           BridgeArtFair, New York, (catalog)

2008 - "Atlantis" gallery A3, Moscow, Curator T. Kostrikova

           "Invasion : Evasion" BAIBAKOV art projects, (catalog)

            Bridge Miami Beach, (catalog)

           "Cyberfest", St. Petersburg, (catalog)

           "Power of Water" State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, (catalog)

           "Tunguska meteorite", 100-years of falling, Krasnoyarsk

           "Art About Mortality", Rostov on Don, (catalog)

           "Sleeping district", gallery ArtMarin, Curator A. Panov

2007 - Competition on the project a monument to Boris Yeltsin

           7th Krasnoyarsk Biennial 2007, Curator S. Kovalevsky

           Work is exhibited at a show-window of a museum ART4.RU

2005 - Art Manezh, Moscow

           "Art Moscow", (pop/off/art), Central House of Artists, (catalog)

2004 - "World of War" Museum Of Decorative Art, Moscow

2003 - The Size Does Matter" Central House of Artists, Moscow

           "Object and Thing" Museum Of Decorative Art, Moscow

1997 - "Action Initiation" Art Laboratory Dominanta, Moscow

           "Bleeding of Spring" Malaja Gruzinskaja, Moscow

1996 - Art Manezh, Moscow

           "Art Moscow", (gallery Dominanta), Central House of Artists

1994 - "Fun-Art" Central House of Artists, Moscow

1992 - Group "Hummer" Manezh, Moscow

           "Golden Brush" Central House of Artists, Moscow

1991 - Malaja Gruzinskaja in Manezh , Moscow

           "Space and Spirit", Central House of Artists, Moscow, (catalog)

1988 - Group "Hummer" Central House of Artists, Moscow

           In Memory fo Pjatnitzkogo Malaja Gruzinskaja , Moscow

           "Labyrinth" Palace of Youth, Moscow





Kawarga:

To balance on the edge of the technological and natural, rational and subconscious, structure and chaos, art and science — is the most exciting and rewarding pursuit. I like imagining myself as a researcher and an experimentalist, who happened to be inside his own experiment: in my case — a sort of biological art-instrument. On the one hand, I am constantly preoccupied contemplating my own biological and psychological processes. Shaping my observations into a kind of research, I try to recreate those processes in the form of material 3D models. On the other hand, I focus on the points of correspondence between myself and the world's rapidly changing scientific and technological flow. Once having broken with the genre boundaries, I moved from painting to sculpture, then to interactive sculpture and installation, later — to the time-based installation and afterwards returned to painting. This progression made me rediscover the art as an abstract on going research process, which can absorb literally anything.

If one tries it? trace the rationale behind this reference to phenomena of consciousness and their visualization, it is important to remember the three main questions that drive every creative person in his/her quest — what does one do? how? and what for? I asked myself those questions thousands of times throughout the years and finally decided to settle on materialization not only of images and symbols of visual world, which operate within the fine arts, but also of what causes their appearance. That is, the abstract flows of thought, the models of consciousness, the mechanisms of idea creation, the fragments of perception, reflexes, gestalts and so on. What is created is no longer a sculpture or an installation, but a kind of artifact 'mined' from the depth of consciousness.

The media for my objects and installations are various plastics and rubbers. There is a whole spectrum of sheet, granular, powder and multicomponent casting polymers. Their synthetic qualities are perfect for materializing the essence of intellectual processes, which, in my opinion, also have an artificial and synthetic nature. Unlike other media, like stone or metal, polymers can be transformed with time. The sculptures and installations of different ages can become the material for new ones due to technologies of partial melting and decomposition. In this sense, the very body of my art is developing and transforming in time, like a snake that bites its own tail. The recycled substance of itself feeds my work, thereby creating new meanings and technological innovations from old.

The most significant pieces of the last years were based on the synthesis of art and science and created in collaboration with scientists, technical experts and musicians.

Among those are interactive installations and objects that a based on physical response to the audience' action — they radiate noises of various frequencies; they vibrate, shudder, turn and pulsate; they react to the spectator's touch, to the rhythm of human blood flow, to one's voice, breath, psychic state, and those of others. These works get fulfilled/fertilized with every contact, accumulating the information from spectators' bodies — their thoughts, rhythms, energies."




Publications:

      Summer - Autumn 2010          

"The possibility of creating novelty is interesting"
Sciene-art is having a hard time taking root in Russian soil. It is expensive and probably seems too cerebral and calculating to Russian artist. Dmitry Kawarga is one of the few to be taking on this genre. He spoke with Anastasia Syrova about his explorations.

Artchronika (A): What style of art would you associate your work with? Is it science-art? Bio-art?
Dmitry Kawarga (K): It wouldn't be entirely correct to assign me unequivocally to science-art or to one of the associated trends, to bio-art. I use knowledge-intensive technologies and diagnostic devices in my work, but that is only one of the elements involved. My projects are not located entirely within techno-bioculture territory. People who call themselves science-artists or high-technology artists, as a rule, have a scientific background or are artists actively engaged in scientific research, laboratory-scale developments. My art is also investigative, but this is more likely connected to constant self-analysis. By investigating my own psycho-physiology, I try to study all accessible phenomena and processes.

A: How did you become interested in science? What does the synthesis of science and art mean to you?
K: My interest in science probably came about around the age of five or six, thanks to the TV show Obvious-Unbelievable and its host, Sergei Kapitsa. He would write these endless equations and formulas in chalk on the blackboard, repeating them out loud at the same time; bewitching in their total incomprehensibility, they were embedded like magic scrolls into my very sub-cortex. I never wanted the show to end, but to go on and on forever. I would enter a special state of concentration; now I try to achieve that through the creative process. So, when working with scientists now, I am looking for that Kapitsa from my childhood. And all of these scientific diagnostic medical devices that take readings are helping to develop the right relationship to what I do. The viewers find themselves in a situation where their attention switches from the outside world to the territory of my work. It's a ploy for attention. The viewers are charged with a task: to alter their internal state to relax, get excited, activate the two hemispheres of the brain by turns, relay the heat of their bodies and the rhythm of their blood flow to objects, etc.

A: What kind of reaction are you trying to elicit from the viewers? Are they at all important for you?
K: Of course. With the help of technology, viewers are drawn into a dialogue and become a part of the installation. They react to the piece, and vice versa — the piece reacts to the viewers, so feedback is an important element. At the opening of the Kulik's Hair exhibition, I dressed the visitors in robes made from a special fabric to make everyone feel like a lab assistant who was to come to dissect thoughts. A person hooks into a device, and he's part of the game: you have an initiation of self-awareness. This kind of focused work with people's attention ultimately influences what I will do further as an artist. I listen and watch carefully to everything that goes on at the exhibition. I'm gathering data.

A: In order to use scientific diagnostic technology, do you have to follow what's going on in the science world?
K: Another person from our creative team is responsible for that. We have a theoretical psycho–physiologist, a curator for the scientific component, a programmer, and technical engineer who puts together the devices. We work with musicians who record sounds from insects and swamps and write soundtracks for the pieces. This is a synthesis of the visual and tactile, of science and art, music and programming. We recently were awarded a scientific grant from Dmitry Zimin's Dinastia Foundation, so in another year we'll have a project made possible by the patronage of an academic. This is a big piece that will make use of a great deal of bio-feedbacks, including readings of brain biorhythms and photo-plethysmography (using devices to calculate changes in the blood flow lumen inside a finger). We will be trying to create a situation where seven to eight people will be able to interact with a single piece at one time-like a collective performance.

A: In your opinion, how can advanced technologies enrich art?
K: Advanced technologies are having an undeniably greater and greater influence on art, and this isn't just some trend you can miss. We can't exactly go on patching up cultural gaps with tape and newspapers... High-tech art is interesting as a new opportunity opening up for synthesizing novelty, and for going outside the framework of any and all genres. This is a living experimental process, akin to alchemy, where it is more important to take part than to get completed products.

A: What happens to your pieces after the exhibitions?
K:I use them to make new pieces. I don't throw away any parts. My polymers have accompanied me through all these years of life: we are growing old together, transforming ourselves together.

A:Can you talk about the production process? How do you make these things?
K: Everything is made by hand. For instance, the Kulik's Hair installation was a sort of "intellectual intestine" of accumulated experience, a living object cultivated from a single point into infinity; it's important to mould it with your own hands. The bodies of the pieces and the sculptures are cultivated out of all sorts of polymer materials — for the most part expensive and technological, all kinds of really complicated materials. There's a production laboratory where I have them specially developed.

A: A few of your works are associated with the anti-Utopian genre. I am thinking of the Anthropocentrism Toxosis project, or Ultrastructural Pathology.
K: I try to avoid clear ideological messages. I strive to listen carefully to a situation that is forming the conditions for creating a new piece of installation. If the situation is lively, interesting and self-actualizing, then there was a reason for it, and I've once more managed to successfully make contact with the world. Anthropocentrism Toxosis was a statement on the suburbs, so maybe there was a certain anti-utopianism. There was an entertaining episode when we were setting up that exhibition: my enormous piece made from welded polymers wouldn't fit in the door, and the gallery was on the 11th floor of a building in a Moscow suburb. They called in a construction crane, which shoved it in elegantly through the balcony door, just like a giant ovipositor squirreling away an egg.

A: You date some of your paintings by decade, not by year, as is usually done. Why?
K: This is a new project that I brought to Paris as part of the Year of Russia in France; it's still there, by the way, in the small Brisso gallery. It's called Uroboros (a term from alchemy, the name for the snake devouring its own tail). I went back to my own art from twenty years ago, got old pieces out of the storeroom and decided to figure out the origins of the stuff that I do now. I was treating these paintings as artifacts, documents of a past time and forgotten experiences. I made them into monochrome remakes and drew a plastic materialization out of each one. What resulted was an exhibition of ten mini-installations, each one accompanied by a small text. It was really interested to ask the French people whether they could see the mark of a foreign culture in the pieces, whether they could catch at least a little Russianness. I asked dozens of visitorsand determined that no one could see anything like that.

A: How do you picture your audience?
K: I can't picture it; the image is all blurred and indistinct. The one thing I can say is I've noticed an erotic-corporeal relationship to my installations: people try to touch, embrace, to lie down or get inside. So I suppose my ideal target is a young man, physically healthy, asking himself open-ended questions of self-identification and inclined towards some kind of evolving.

A: You've done Internet-based projects like, for instance, Chess, where you played with the artist Mikhail Molochnikov...
K: Yes, at the time one of us was living in Berlin and the other in Moscow, and there was a chess battle going on in Igor Markin's Art4.ru community. Every new move was made in the form of an individual Livejournal posting. In order to make moves on the chessboard, you had to make a chess-piece and think up a new situational message for your rival. Our match was observed by thousands of community-members; their comments in one way or another influenced the course of the game. Images were born and changed in the process. The game itself lasted four months. Our chess pieces found themselves at cemeteries, on rooftops, in snowdrifts; they got stuck in the decomposing bodies of birds and in the tracks of backhoes, there's no way to tell where all they ended up. It was interesting to compete in the intricacies of the game — a sort of interactive art-training.

A: Your most recent project, Kulik's Hair, was exhibited in Sergei Gridchin's hall. How did it come about?
K: Kulik's Hair also started in Livejournal — I took a hair off of Oleg Kulik's shoulder and posted it in Livejournal as a joke; like, I found one of Kulik's hairs, put it in a test tube-tell me what to do, should I smoke it or make a wish? Misha Sidlin called me up and suggested I do an installation in Gridchin Hall. An enormous installation grew up out of total nonsense. In the long run, what resulted is really Kawarga's Hair, a materialization of my hidden creative processes...

A: The spatial designs in your work are close to architecture...
K: Last year we drove an enormous plastic sculpture around Switzerland on the roof of a car, and against the background of the mountains it looked like an ideal building: one side constructivist, the other biomorphic. I think this construction would fit right in with the mountain ranges of Lichtenstein, and perhaps someday I'll be able to build that kind of a studio for myself there. This will be a complicated biomorphic piece, a giant sculpture with communication inputs that we can live and work inside.

A: So what happened with your Boris Yeltsin monument project, which was also published on the Art4.ru website?
K: The Moscow City Duma rejected it. Like Hercules tearing open the leopard's jaws, Igor Markin fought heroically against this decision and even tried to erect the monument in the courtyard of his museum, but the odds were against him.

A: Who are your favorite artists?
K: I have many. Ernesto Neto hanging spices in multi-meter-long pantyhose, Ron Mueck with his giant hyper-realistic figures and their fragments, Gunther von Hagens with his experiments in biological aesthetics, Anish Kapoor, Gunther Uecker. But it's really better not to name names. As soon as you pronounce a name, everything immediately goes wrong, the meanings of all the words lose their fluidity as if anchored to a certain set of specifics. Even this interview is very strange for me. Art is the impossibility to pronounce a finished phrase.




      September 2010          

«Die russische Gegenwartskunst ist von Ironie durchtränkt»

«ICH BIN UNSOZIAL»

Dimitry Kawarga, der Gewinner des Art4.ru-Preises 2007, steht jenseits von Geld, Glamour und anderen Klischees. Der Moskauer interessiert sich für die Sichtbarmachung seiner Innenwelt mit wissenschaftlichen Methoden. Kawargas Kunst versteht sich als radikale Materialisierung seiner eigenen psychophysiologischen Mechanismen.

Dimitry Kawarga, "Biological Morphs" ist ein sehr subjektives Konzept. Nehmen Sie trotzdem Inspirationen aus der Aussenwelt auf?
Niemand hat mich beeinflusst, weder Menschen noch Schulen — es war immer die Natur, die mich inspirierte. Ich ging als Kind in den Wald, um zu zeichnen und zu malen. Die Biological Morphs sind alles, was zum Korper gehort, inklusive Bewusstsein und Unterbewusstsein. Ich habe mich bei diesem Thema total abgegrenzt vom sozialen Leben und bin nur in mich selbst eingetaucht. Dazu arbeitete ich auch viel mit Wissenschaftlern zusammen, die meine Korperpara meter gemessen haben. Es mangelt in unserem Land an einer Hightech-Kunst, Kunst, die sich die neuesten Erkenntnisse der Wissenschaft zunutze macht.

Subjektivitat und Wissenschaft bestimmen Ihre Kunst. Mit Ihrem Pass sind Sie aber auch ein Teil von Russland. Interessiertste als Kunstler die Diskussion über eine postsowjetische Identität?
Ich fuhle mich keineswegs dieser postsowjetischen Kunst zugehörig. Ich bin unsozial und verarbeite nicht das politische System. Aber 2007, als Boris Jelzin starb, gab es einen Wettbewerb für ein Monument zu seiner Ära, und wir haben gewonnen — es war ein Missverstandnis! Es war kein Kenotaph an die Person Jelzin, sondern ein Monument an die Zeit, wie ich sie damals erlebt habe. Interessanterweise kamen dann alte Leute zu mir und sagten, es reflektiere genau ihre Erinnerungen an jene Zeit.

Was ist gegenwärtig Ihr wichtigstes Projekt?
Ich arbeite an einem Projekt zwischen Kunst und Wissenschaft. Es geht darum, das Bewusstsein eines Menschen zu verkorpern, also eine Art kunstlichen Intellekt zu erschaffen. Wenn das Werk fertig ist, konnen die Betrachter mit ihren Gedanken, mit ihrer Körperwarme und mit ihren Emotionen das Objekt manipulieren. Somit hort es auf, rein subjektiv zu sein.



i n s t a l l a t i o n s s c u l p t u r e s  p a i n t i n g   C V   c o n t a c t