Street art arrived at a rather strange place in 2020. As we grew to love it, we commercialised it, and made it an increasingly popular art form. And the more we continue on this path, the less connected to the street this art form becomes. As it moves into our comfort zone and embraces modern technology, so street art no longer requires substantial logistical effort on the part of the artist. What matters instead are ideas. And today’s artist is forever contemplating how to get more out of the minimum use of resources. That is natural. After all, progress is founded on a determination to simplify. However, it is worth acknowledging that progress itself is impossible to achieve without a degree of retrospection. Not only does there need to be a reminder of what requires changing, but also a source of material and basic information. Occasionally this process goes back to the very origin, one that is seemingly forgotten, and not even in need of improvement. It calls for a new interpretation and a modern approach. It is a foundation that sometimes merits revisiting.
For the second project in our New Ruins series, we decided to invite artists who work with stone and carve images using hammers and chisels. It’s physically demanding work, which requires both strength and patience. But it pays off. The artists studied the past and realised that such a technique, even metaphorically speaking, provides an opportunity to enter the future. We have heard so many times that graffiti is impermanent, that we have forgotten that some of it has survived for centuries. And stone carving specifically encapsulates the main objectives of the genre – to be both ubiquitous and enduring. It renders any supposed merits of modernity void, and harks back to a time when everything first began. And that’s just as much about the material as it is about the actual artistic method.
“In going back to stone carving techniques, we want to say that graffiti has not only become an area of modern art, but art as a whole, going back to the primordial need of humans to create. We want to pinpoint meanings and images that reflect both modernity and the spirit of the age,” say the artists.
We thought it would be interesting to place the stones in the centre of St. Petersburg, on a square where they stand alongside architecture which subjugates the stone and regulates its form for utility’s sake. These objects serve as a reminder of the primordial nature of things. It is something which we are prone to forgetting, but which we have a duty to remember and be aware of.
Curator: Maxim Ima
Artists: 0331с, Grisha, Eror TOI, 404, Frouone, GIWE
General partner: LSR.Aggregates