– My objects reflect the process of transfiguration of the existence into the time, infinity into immediateness. I try to palpate the channel of communication between eternity and time, the channel that works in either direction.
Valentin Korzhov is an artist of space. Fascinated by Heidegger’s idea of nothingness Valentin places his unusual sculpture into a neutral natural environment to observe their materiality in the surrounding of almost complete nothingness. This’s, according to great German philosopher, the only condition where the form can reveal itself. The weird indescribable objects resting on the endless snowfields look strange and alien, and here comes another, literal connotation – the Space. Valentin derives the shape of his sculptural forms from the geometry of cosmic formations fixed by Hubble Space Telescope by drawing the line between the star clusters. The follower of Henry Moore and Francisco Infante, Valentin chases the purity of form – his moulded casts experience no human interference but only acquire a cosmic sophisticated polish colour or just remain white.
Valentin was born in Moscow and started his artistic career as a sculptor by entering an art institution. After graduation he became an assistant at his teacher’s workshop – a famous sculptor and metal artist Victor Sidorenko. That was the place where he could master his skills in work with a material and soon he started his own experiments with plastic forms as a reflection of his philosophical ideas. He experimented with porcelain and the result of his attempts became an exhibition Archaeology of Memory – a grand ziggurat of porcelain human skulls in colours of former Soviet republics. Then he addresses the metal as a material for his search of a shape and meaning. The series Desolation is a starting point for his long journey in finding the perfect form or vice versa – a formlessness that acquires its meaning while interacting with time and space. He goes deep into ideas of Greek philosophy and Martin Heidegger. At the same time, he’s fascinated by the oppositions of Plato and Darwin theories on origins of life and human condition which reflects in dramatic projects Darwin vs. Darwin and Trinity. Here, the highly realistic animalistic and human silicone objects are placed in an abandoned rural or urban setting somewhere in Spanish Tarragona or Russian countryside. This’s the period Valentin engages more and more with a photo camera to create complicated scenes in the aesthetic of the Renaissance or Felini’s films with the help of performance artists and professional actors. He goes into long expeditions with his team to deepen into long experimentation with setting up objects in different places, catching the light, mists, fogs and solar reflexes. Gradually, video becomes an innate media of these practices while sculpture plays the main and essential role. At the same time, Valentin’s plastic search crystallizes into a pure shape of cosmic formations and as a result into a focal project – Being & Time – a culmination of his philosophical reflections, artistic experimentations and technological perfection for the last decade.
It’s hard now to define one discipline in Valentin’s oeuvre – each of his works is a combination of sculpture and painterly composition staged with theatrical precision and fixed by a camera. Valentin approaches his every project as a large-scale collaborative engagement with participation of high-rank international photographers, film directors, actors and technical professionals. The ending result grants the viewer with immersive multidisciplinary installations combining sculpture, video and photos. Valentin is the only artist living in Russia who works on the edge of all major artistic media, philosophy and science.
Valentin is the member of Moscow Artists Union, sculpture section. His personal exhibitions took place in such important public spaces like Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, State Darwin Museum, Center for Contemporary Art Winzavod, Arts Academy and many others. His exhibition Archeology of Memory was showcased as a collateral event of the 5th International Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. He participates in a number of important large-scale group exhibitions like Actual Russia and Tetraktis. Valentin was included in top-100 Renowned Russian Artists (InArt 2018). Lives and works in Moscow.
©2020, V. Korzhov