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Icons and Pushkin Club lecture

20th March 2007

Dear All
Received from the Pushkin Club.

Best wishes
Ute

Duel Iconoclast

This exhibition runs from 3rd to 7th April from 10am to 6pm on the HMS
President
(built 1918), which is permanently moored at Blackfriars on the north bank
of
the river Thames.

There will be a Gala VIP preview on 3rd April from 6pm – 10pm

Solana Gallery in association with HMS President is pleased to announce
an
exhibition by Oleg Ikona, who will be showing his latest project “DUEL
ICONOCLAST.”

This will be the first opportunity for the British public to see the
interactive
modern art icons that caused such a huge furore in Russia and resulted in
the
artist’s persecution at the hands of Russian right wing nationalists and
extremists in the Russian Orthodox Church.

In his own words Oleg Yanushevsky has said that the main idea behind his
project
is to canonise topical symbols, brands and celebrity personalities that
occupy
such a large place in the consciousness of today’s consumer society. His
works
combine traditional icon painting techniques with modern electronics and
reflect
the total influence that the contemporary mass media has on its public.
The
exhibition will show projected sample images of historical and
traditional
orthodox iconic art in juxtaposition to Oleg’s modern and
thought-provoking and
sometimes controversial contemporary icons. The exhibition will present
the
“duel” going on between history and our contemporary times and between
historical values and beliefs and today’s worship of the idols and icons
of
consumerism.

What is particularly striking about this exhibition is the artist’s
ability to
combine a complex mixture of contrasting artistic components, thus
creating
modern works of art that are rooted in historic traditions. These range
from
traditional materials and techniques to electronic and mechanical
mechanisms
that have been put together with extreme precision and unerring taste.
The
icons themselves are fundamental cultural units into which topical public
fetishes are embedded. According to the artist, the main idea behind
these
works is to "provide everyone with the opportunity to become an ‘operator
of
myths' by manipulating the materials that make up the icon itself,
regardless of
their social, national or political status”.

The interactive nature of the show makes it particularly topical in as far
as it
transforms the exhibition space (an iconic British ship) into something
resembling a modern temple of consumerism.

Press conference: 3 April, 5 pm – 6 pm HMS President (1918)

For further press information, images or details please contact Lada
Komarova

Tel: 07944 095760 Email: [removed]

HMS President: Tel: 020 7583 1918 Email: [removed]

Icons Preview: 15 – 25 March 2007

Solana Gallery, 60 Lots Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0QD

Contact: 020 376 5577, 07910 517 751, 07944 095 760

Email: [removed]

Also:

Pushkin Club, Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London WC1
www.pushkinclub.org.uk

Tuesday 27 March 2007. 7.15 for 7.30. Admission £4 (concessions £3)

ROBERT CHANDLER. "SPEAKING FOR THOSE WHO LIE IN THE EARTH". Robert
Chandler will
discuss Vasily Grossman's great war novel, LIFE AND FATE, which he has
translated. He will also talk about the remarkable short stories Grossman
wrote
in his last years.

“Vasily Grossman's novel is burnt in my memory, not only by its huge
canvas, its
meditation on tyranny, and its dazzling description of war, but also
because
this is the novel that made me cry – not just a few leaked tears, but a
full-scale sobbing episode – in Montpellier airport.”
Gillian Slovo, The Independent, March 25,
2005

“Little by little, Vasily Grossman seems to be working his way into the
consciousness of the modern world. If his name already means something to
you,
and especially if you have read his novel Life and Fate, you may share my
view
that it is only a matter of time before Grossman is acknowledged as one of
the
great writers of the 20th century. If today is the first time you have
encountered his name, take note of it, for your life may be about to
change.”
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, March 25,
2006

“Whenever we see the dawn of an eternal good, whenever we see this dawn,
the
blood of children and old people is always shed. Human history is not
the
battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a
great
evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness.”
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

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