Nymphs of contemporary art and baby. 2018
"Gastarbaytarskiy voyage". 2006
At present the condition of the artists, who are engaged in contemporary art, is very difficult. Insufficient funding, nonexistence of workshops, where they can crate and keep works. As these works are not sold. Everything happens on an internal resistance. However, as odd as it sounds the artist can overcome all the obstacles in the local context, but at what cost?
In many instances, success depends from the nature and determination, but here we cannot cherish illusions. From the beginning, we rather are in an aggressive movement of the social structure, where you just have to understand what you are going for, and you have to pace oneself at the achievements of the necessary results, and herewith take the responsibility for his own actions. For this, of course, there is no need for motivation, will, belief inn himself, which gives the reason to be true to himself.
The important move here in Uzbekistan for me is that, regardless of all of the obstacles, is to be able to create, and then present own artwork especially here in such conditions. And in such way to express own attitude to the world and own understanding of the things may not coincide with the orthodox view of other people. Such a thing happened, for example, with the work «Abduction of a cocoon», for which, moreover, was granted a Gran-prix at the international biennale in Tashkent in 2013.
Other difficulty – export of the artwork abroad. For this, the artist needs to get a allowance to export, which is issued by the expert committee under the Ministry of culture. The artist must pay for the expertise of his own works from 15 to 30 US dollars per each artwork. The document is issued only for three months. Sometimes it is necessary to pay repeatedly for the same work, and there is no guarantee that is it will be possible to sell the artwork. The probability that the works by an unknown artist will be bought is scanty. The artist has to return these works back and pay for the transportation. It is still unclear who sets these prices and what are the criteria which form this payment.
In the tax office all the artists are considered as entrepreneurs. Artist can spend several months or years for the creation of work. However, tax for this work is taken as for the one month payroll. Nobody takes into consideration the time for the creation of work and the difficulty of its implementation at the absence of the art market.
At the same time the craftsman are given big benefits: they can export their works without payment and without customs declaration, they are assigned a pension, they have an end market.
The mystery of the place. 2016
We face a number of obstacles we face a number of difficulties in the development of contemporary art in Uzbekistan. First of all, this is the position of the Academy of Arts. We have suggested several times to the Academy to create a section of contemporary art. It was ignored.
I would like to talk about the last Tashkent Biennale of Сontemporary art Art, which was held in 2018. I presume, that there are no necessary conditions for holding such important forums in Tashkent. To begin with, lack of proper professional approach in organizing of such events. It seems, that a «wedding event» is being organized instead of a biennial. It takes two years to prepare for such forum, not two months. To fix this event it is necessary to release a catalog, which is not done here People do not understand those important and difficult tasks given us through the format of art.
Art review: How does it feel to personally destroy that what has the soul and time invested to?
Vyacheslav Useinov: Well, this has an explicit meaning for me, as the ritual of irracionalism. Although there are some worried about this. This action is dictated by external necessity. One of my works which I created in 2005 called «Constanta» weighs 1500 kg, is more than three meters in height, 11 meters in length. It is matter-of-course that I had to destroy it as I have no place to keep it.
It happened with the other works as well such as «Wetback round», «Requiem on the killed butterflies of the colonel Lyarossa», «Colonization of a cube» and so on . But most of the works you can see on my web-page. Unfortunately, our statesman on the level of Ministries of culture or museums are not ready to buy such kind of works: installations, videos, ohotos and etc.
Fractal Pause of Light. Experimental textile. 2002
Art review: Can your works qualify for public art?
Vyacheslav Useinov: I assume, yes. Moreover, there are sketches and some insight in this regard. Yet, I have some distrust to government officials and their structure. The reason for this, is an unpleasant experience which I have. Do you understand, that to implement such direction as public art in Tashkent, we need to create an Arts Council, which will be working with the artists and the municipal authorities, helping then in determining the worthy artwork for confirmation. Art community should also be involved into the process of selection. As I understand, the only task of the authorities of all levels— is the development of our government, which should be primarily based on culture. However, they are in the system of ranking and the civil servants acts according to what is said by the civil servant of a higher level.
Art review: Are you ready to give your work to authority of any region or city for a symbolic price? It would be your contribution into the culture of the society.
Vyacheslav Useinov: The psychological effect of exactingness to the place and my work actuates in me, to their emotional and intellectual component in the public space. Who will be determining this area in the public space?
That is why, I think, that is it incorrect if the artist will be bringing relief to the city, which is being funded, for the development. Generally speaking, the artist here— is that person, whose opinion people do not listen to, he exists here like a maintenance staff.
Once I happened to do artwork in the Government Executive office. It was a big gobelin with a size of eight meters to eleven in Ok-saroy. Subsequently it came out as a conflict with people, with whom I had to cooperate. Those people treated me not a like a creative thinker but as like a clerk with an appropriate payment. However, I have a positive experience of cooperation as welI also once did work for our embassy in Washington, and then I had an order from the US Embassy in Uzbekistan.
Art review: What is the reason of rigidity of our Academy of Art?
Vyacheslav Useinov: Art Academy of Uzbekistan– is still a product of a Soviet era. Art Academy ended up in the break of the transition period of formation of our government. 28 years of independence – is rather a miserly period of existence in the history. Art Academy works by the knurled route, laid during the soviet period only by the worst-case scenario. The artists themselves, who received education during old times for the most part were in the forefront of ideological significance, and it had a structural certainty and clarity for what the artists are necessary.
But now the Art Academy is focusing only in itself and solving only corporate objectives, which are not connected with the vital problems of the artists of Uzbekistan. I suppose, if the Art Academy of Uzbekistan undertook a commitment, as an independent labor union organization on protection of the rights and interests of the artists, then this would have a greater meaning.
Art review: Nevertheless, ideology and culture have changed enough. We are heading on a different path rather than in the Soviet period..
Vyacheslav Useinov: However, during the years of independence, an art market was not created; artists were left on their own. There are no any state programs on art education of children at schools, no any contacts with the foreign institutions, which could completely influence the art world and the professional level in Uzbekistan. There are no preferences for the professional artists by the government as well as the social protection.
The shadow of a nonexistent house. Canvas, oil. Tashkent 1995-2006
Because of all f this, up to the present Uzbekistan is deprived of internal political and artistic ambitions to have own national pavilion in Venice and position itself as a cultural nation through artistic achievements in contemporary art. Rich people today do not see the difference between a real painting and a reproduction on a banner, not to mention new media, nonetheless they should be the main buyers. Lack of education broadly speaking, effects our existence and daily behavior.
Art review: What do you think should happen to change it?
Vyacheslav Useinov: I suppose, it should be the political will of the authority and their wish t change the country and make it more educated (enlightened). As for the beginning, it is just necessary to have sense in the necessity that something has to be changed and done, and then develop the action plan, in order not to make a hash of things.
In the art university the students are still taught as in the USSR: the same plaster casts, only the teaching itself, to my view, has lost the professional adequacy. Besides, it does not comply with the experimental format of modern art, where such genres as videoart, installation, conceptual object, contemporary photography, performance and etc have long existed. I understand, that it is necessary to be able to draw, but it is also necessary to be able to think. This is not taught.
This spring I participated in the central Asian project in Kyrgyzstan with my work «Two prosecutors and a red dog». Te supervisor of the project was Ulan Djaparov. Artists from different countries had to paint doors, by determining the navigation of the rooms in the school of the village of Orlovka, so the children understand where the physics, math, chemistry, English language rooms and etc. And perhaps what was important is that the participants were from different countries, and each was solving own task in his own way without any censorship.
Stealing the swastika. Installation. 2006
This initiative was supported by the government of Kyrgyzstan. The idea of this project that the visual interaction of children with conceptual images on the doors helps them subconsciously absorb the visual culture of contemporary art, as well as easily orientate in the school area. This experiment caused a big positive response in Kyrgyzstan.
Participation of our artists in central Asian projects— is definitely necessary and good. However, first of all we need to organize our own internal art life here as an effective platform in positioning to the international scene. But for this we should lean to asses our people who are related to art: art experts, counselors, museum workers, collectors, artists and workers of art galleries and etc.
French impressionist have a big value all over the world, only for that they have created this precedent inside their country.
Art review: Is our society ready for change and is it conscious enough for these changes?
Vyacheslav Useinov: Well, the reality depends on changes of our consciousness, I think, tat it is a difficult process. You know, I am not a a political expert and not sociologist, but I think, that what culture is the main indicator of self-sufficiency of the state. The level of counteractions in culture shown the aspiration of society in the development of the country.
Art review: hat vital events in the society effect your work?
Vyacheslav Useinov: Here is a question to your question. What do you understand under the work «vital»?
A fragment of the art object "Christmas trees for ass." 2013
Art review: Political, social events.
Vyacheslav Useinov: You know, vital political issues happen every day and every minute. An artist cannot follow all these. Nowadays, in my opinion, part of contemporary artists in Central Asia got into a blind of political current market conditions and national relativism. They generate problems of any nature in the mirror vicissitudes, depending on the state of mind of the authorities, and create the subjectivism of artistic artifact of modernity through this prism.
Is it much easier to create the remonstrative work as an internal reaction to the political event, but it is much harder to reformat into philosophical meaning the protest itself in the composition, which will have its phenomenon of insight to the reality at the neutral level. The work of art should not be the instrument for fight against someone or something. Modern actual art is becoming, in some degree, hostage of its own bad infinity in the existence of the problems.
I remembered one dictum of the German philosopher Theodore Adorno. He said: « Art is an ideal of carefully formed and participates in public morals not by these or other edifications, but by the fact of its existence. Ideal one is the real resistance and criticism of society».
Art review: Do you mean that you create based on the aesthetic sensitivity?
Vyacheslav Useinov: I have defined another point of view in contemporary art and determined this as «fractal veerism». I suppose not kindness and not evil, but the medial situation. Neutrality, which is confirmed by your an unbiased urge to see the world, not the problems. Rejection of cultivation of the social modernism, which bored to death with its demagogy with a claim to the theoretical findings.
It happens that the main source of sublimation of the actual art happened on the base of constant generation of a negative tension in relation to everything that is happening. Such technique of artistic action mitigates the concept of the artistic challenge and lowers the plank of art up to the poster unification of immediate search of justice and truth. For me such type of artistic position— is nonsense with the mixture of self-righteousness. Though some artists invoke for political activeness in the struggle in art, identifying it as vital, but this is their right.
Knot. Installation. 2016
More important is to change the point of view and change himself from this effort. You, as if doing the will of impartial observer in yourself, where the consciousness is in the purity of the neutral impulse, coming, maybe, from the drama of the samsara itself or from the all-round manifest. Intellectual reflection just scoops already legalized results of your inner struggle for the right to implement the image as the clarity of nobody’s vision.
Art review: Is not the art built on conflicts?
Vyacheslav Useinov: The biggest conflict sits inside of us. One has to cope with the meaninglessness of metaphysical existence. This world is like a reflection, where personal reflection just guesses the meaning of self blindness. If in terms of this conflict, then it materializes through formative works. The originality of the work depends more on the ephemerality of the existing, which has yet to be achieved through suffering.
Nataly Sarrot in the article about Flaubert wrote: «Time destroys style and meaning of the most perfect work, keeping their substance, if it emerged like a fatal necessity».
The purpose of the artist is not that his works are clear to the society, and even not in doing effort in comprehending oneself through works of art, but in determining own way of development of self-fulfillment in the context of the existing volume of art in the world in the labyrinth of art directions. This also has some conflict.
However, the contemporary actual art is connected with the problems of society, reasoning the reverence of its practicality. In such a way the artist gets into the trap of own claims of being in the clip of modern trends. But the easiest way in art is to roll your own shit into cans and write your name on the cans. Here the main thing is to stake out own action by that nobody has done it before you and that you are the first one. Or what is even easier to set a video camera in front of a womb of a woman giving a birth and broadcast it to the whole world in the spectrum of conceptual joke.
As such the actual art itself becoming a problem for itself, especially when it has to choose the national identity. How shall I say: «Whose mill should we pour water to?». Here it is possible to into an artistic self-colonization and unintentionally serve the prevailing authorities.
Art review: What is the intention of modern art if not to stoop to the level of all these problems?
Vyacheslav Useinov: Give people consolation and chance to improve oneself for the better, if it is possible. Not to shy away from the humane point of view to life in own intentions, no matter how difficult it is. The core of world's history of art rests precisely on humanity and impartiality to history.
Basically one more result is provoking, that the intentions of contemporary art are formed by the art experts and supervisors. Prerogative of the artist — is to form the art and implement the process of its creation. The process itself acts as an important element in achieving to catch the fluids of time. Here I hold the this view that further walks the one who knows where he is going.
Cadence. Dedicated to AntoninArtaud. 1990
My friend Shamshad Abdullaev formulated the expression: « The nakedness of an accomplished elementariness where the inexhaustibility of the unrequited lies». Here, in this expression, gracious thaw of emotional warmth opens for me. Estate, the intention of modern art lies in the platitude where the artist should live out the reality as an imprinting tone of naturalism, where the actuality of the irresponsive, can already be understood as radical illusion.
Do you know, I admit that at birth of the person his talents and defects are laid in him and the development depends on the conditions which he falls into. If the person got into the power with his defects, this will reflect on is activity.
Albert Camus at the end of his life achieved a stalemate in the struggle for the good and justice. Any revolution exacerbates the best and worst aspects of the person, but never corrects his defects. In the artwork of Camus «Stranger» (L'Étranger), the hero frankly confesses that did not kill a person, but the sun killed him.
Camus gives us the situation, where the murder happens in the blackout of consciousness, in the prosiness of Algerian heat. Nonetheless, the mechanism of he social structure is pitiless. Justice system just cannot imagine, that sun can commit a murder by person’s hands. Is it possible to overcome the dogma, is it comes to the language of law?
In art, as in any form of human activity there are also own dogmas. The artist decides himself to overcome them or not. But I cannot judge others, because that is their right to live as they want. I can appeal only to myself without pointing to others. The biggest and most dangerous enemy is within us. Not having won him, we cannot win the external enemy. As you think, can the main intention of modern art – is overcoming the dogma in the art itself?
Art review: What thoughts and emotions get you going, when you create your works? What is the substance (subject) of your work?
Vyacheslav Useinov: It is very difficult for me to talk about the substance of my works. This definition might need a lot of time. I do not know. I can asses other workers, based on my preferences, experience and taste, based on my knowledge.
Uzbekistan has its own interesting modern artists, there are not many as it is wished but there are some. Among the quattrocentists there are Murad Karabaev, Zelimkhan Saidjanov, Fayzulla Akhmadaliev, Erkin Vorobyov, Alisher Khamidov, Maxim Vardanyan. Jamol Usmanov, Alexander Barkovsky, Dilya Kaipova, Alexander Nikolaev, Muhammad Fozili work in the new format. From the young artists I would point out Jahongir Bobokulov and Timur Shardimedov.
Art review: What is contemporary art?
Vyacheslav Useinov: There are a lot of disputes about this. It is impossible to answer definitely.
Art review: What type of contemporary art is more developed in Uzbekistan?
Vyacheslav Useinov: I would like all our contemporary art types to develop, but it is still early to talk about any kind of achievements.
Art review: What is the meaning of death?
Vyacheslav Useinov: In the death itself, to aggravate the feeling of life.