Umělec 1/2009 List of all editions.
What the English and Germans call Still Life and Stilleben, the French and Spanish know as Nature Morte and Naturaleza Muerta. Such cultural differences regarding a venerable art form suggest important questions about the artistic depiction of nature: Is it a mortification, a kind of embalming; or is it a vehicle for some more profound vital process—does art ‘give back’ to nature? Maybe the…

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Once on my birthday a sweet girl named Anyuta brought me a gift—a book entitled “We are Tiny Letters” (2001) with Herman Lukomnikov’s poems and Asya Flitman’s illustrations. The book was really small, but so compact with pictures and words that there was simply no room left over for any emptiness or double meaning. It looked so strange for the local Minsk habitat that I couldn’t help but wonder…

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1. This text was written on the way to Luxembourg, in the four consecutive trains required to get from Prague to Colophon, the International Magazine Symposium. This event had looked extremely attractive to me till the very last moment. However, on the evening before departure I was amazed to learn that a “flash-pass,” giving the participants the right to be just that, would cost 100 euros. Of…

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Oh ye, the ones who were expected The ones who never came, oh ye! Alexander Gutov This text has a long story. About a year ago, at the Venice Biennale, I met my friend Dmitry Gutov and his pals David Riff and Lesha Penzin. We dined at a good seafood restaurant and Gutov was especially enjoying the vintage wine, as he emphasized the difference (from bad wine) both in price and quality. Due to our…

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Polina Raiko lived all her life (1928 – 2004) in the Ukrainian town of Tsyuryupinsk. Shortly before her death, she was found by Totem Group activists, who preserved her house and published a catalogue of her works to let the world know her story. Pelageya (Polina) Andreevna Raiko (born Soldatova) was born in Tsyuryupinsk in 1928. At the age of 22, she married Nikolai Alexeevich Raiko. The…

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