Unicorn and the Lost Kingdom

June 3 — July 3

Béton centre of visual culture

Albanu Afonso, Nikita Alekseev, Olga Grotova, Paruyr Davtyan, Raul Diaz Reyes, Dunya Zakharova, Maria Ermolenko, Veronika Ivashkevich, Yulia Iosilzon, Dasha Kudinova, Andrey Pokrovsky, Elena Popova, Yulia Spiridonova, Margo Trushina, Jan Zöller, Henning Strassburger

Center of Visual Culture Béton and Osnova Gallery present group exhibition “The unicorn and the Lost Kingdom, ” which brings together works by international artists. The project offers a perspective on art that is already in the field, but sounds different today. The exhibition is built on the principles of dearchiving and revising the material of past years. 

Today, when the world has plunged into darkness, I can hardly imagine the creation of a clear statement on behalf of art. The horror and nightmare of current events activates areas of memory associated with the traumas of previous generations; answers can be found there. In a half-mystical, half-archaeological way, layers of history are lifted: things we’ve done wrong, things that could have been changed. The art objects here are witnesses of time, markers of turns and decisions. There is no selection of objects to match the theme of the exhibition, there is no reliance on mediums — all material is presented as a volume of equal pieces. The juxtaposition of different aesthetic principles, genres, and mediums twists the narrative into a tangle in which there is hardly an answer. Here, through a genealogy of meaninglessness, the present is revealed. The objects of art, like archival objects, speak of a past that doesn’t exist, of lost hopes and faith in the future. Somewhere among them is a unicorn, a signal that we once failed to recognize. 

In Haruki Murakami’s novel “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” the main character works as a dream reader. Touching the unicorn’s skull, he sees dreams in which the stories of lives are encapsulated. The unicorn skull acts as a “sacred sign” on the road to self-destruction and oblivion. Glowing and resounding with its story, it somehow says. “I can no longer clearly tell what the point of it is. Perhaps if you read long enough it will reveal itself to you”.

 *The unicorn is a mythical creature that no one has ever seen. According to legend, an encounter with it says: “Stop. Temperance will bring boundless joy”.