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Dreams, Death and Beyond at Zverev Center of Modern Art

Five Moscow artists contemplate the great mysteries.

All photos courtesy of Valeria Panfilova and Zverev Center of Modern Art

Dreams, death, the subconscious, the gap between what’s alive and what isn’t.

These are some of the themes explored in subCONSCIOUS, an exhibition of art by five Moscow artists working with paint, photography, poetry, video and illustration. In different media, Ilmira Bolotyan, Polina Gisich, Liza Neklessa, Saida Sattarova and Jane (Zhenya) Sharvina all ask questions about the origins of creativity, the space within and beyond your 'self,' what lies before and after life, the formation of objects both animate and inanimate and the quiet beauty that comes with death.

Walking through the gallery you arrive at a columbarium: individually painted urns and the physical remains of different lives. Ilmira Bolotyan’s art asks: Other than flowers, photographs and our memory, what else is left of us after we die?

Then the art and poetry of Lisa Neklessa demands your attention. A wall of her paintings, each accompanied by a poem, asks one question: What is death?

The exhibition leads you to a couch where the animation of Zhenya Sharvina is on loop. Objects and cells merge and transform on the wall in a display of "Self-similar deformation." The viewer, comfortably seated on a couch, is invited to consider the art and be engulfed by the music and visuals of change and transformation, new shapes and constant deformation.

While the gallery itself is small, the art leaves a powerful impression. Fortunately, this art space is set in the middle of a small park, which provides the perfect setting for post-exhibition wandering and quiet musings on life, death, what happens in between and beyond.

The show runs through May 25.

Zverev Center of Modern Art. 29 Novoryazanskaya Ulitsa. Metro Baumanskaya.

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