Introduced to the circle of Moscow Conceptualists as a child, since the beginning of his career Pavel Pepperstein (b. 1966, Moscow) has been one of the most prolific mythmakers in Russian contemporary art, an inventor of systems, universes, languages, cities, and political projects. Pepperstein’s solo exhibition at Garage reviews the key myths he has created since the 1970s: from ecstatic or, on the contrary, ultra-logical visions of the future to religions, cults, beliefs, rituals, and alternative realities that exist in parallel dimensions and modalities.
Although it includes new work alongside existing projects being shown in Moscow for the first time, The Human as a Frame for the Landscape is not a retrospective, nor is it organized chronologically. Time is an elusive concept, which Pepperstein’s art seems to have overcome. Its logic is that of an arabesque, a constantly growing and expanding pattern woven from literary impressions, philosophical meditations, experiences of reality in altered states of consciousness, political utopias, and much more. In this neural pattern, Pepperstein’s projects become visible as they emerge on the surface and then disappear, only to reappear in other artistic, literary, and musical experiments. The exhibition design mimics a gallery of airtight capsules inside a spacecraft (or perhaps on the set of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey), immersing visitors in each of the subjects as if in an alternative reality filtered from the flow of daily routines, memories, childhood impressions, and visions.
In each room, visitors will find leaflets with short descriptions of the projects, which they are welcome to take. These explanatory (or mystifying) texts are based on a conversation with the artist that took place at his studio on January 24, 2019. Had it happened elsewhere or at a different time, the commentary for the exhibition and the interpretation of each project might have been very different, so visitors are free to expand on and add to the interpretations suggested, enter into their own dialogues with the artist, and contribute to the production of the pattern structure of Pavel Pepperstein’s art.