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Mikhail Gulin

  • artist
  • curator
  • actionist
1977
Михаил Гулин / © фото: Казбек Тедеев, 2014

Artist, curator, actionist.

He held a number of important public actions in Minsk. Actions were planned as certain artistic experiments and situations for a random audience. The artist plans the imagery and the approximate route of actions, but never sets out to calculate the final result of the action. As the artist's experience has shown, a radical public statement and artistic intervention carry a risk, and the reaction of the Belarusian society once again demonstrates fear, aggression and alienation.

Lives and works in Minsk.

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Selected Artwork Series

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Selected dates:

April 1, 1977

Born in Gomel (BSSR, today the Republic of Belarus).

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Gomel branch of the Minsk Art College. Glebov.

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Graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Arts,

2008

He began a series of actions “I am not ...”, putting on a certain outrageous image and leaving his apartment or studio for the city, following a certain route. At the same time, the operator documented the action and recorded the reaction of the townspeople to the artist walking around the city. Mikhail Gulin chose images-stamps, to which certain prejudices have developed in Belarusian society: “partisan”, “terrorist”, “homosexual”, “American”, caricaturally emphasizing the clichés that exist in relation to these images in his attire. At the same time, it always had a sign with hand-written text: “Ich bin kein Partisan”, “I am not a terrorist”, “I am not gay”, “I am not American”, creating an imbalance between appearance and denial of the chosen imagery. Such a view allows one to ask questions about social and cultural heterogeneity, about collective identity, memory and pressing social problems. In the future, he continued the series, including in other countries, revealing taboo and clichéd local images.

2010

He created a large sculpture resembling a giant wormhole and, together with it and the cameraman, arranged a drift around Minsk, filming the object in different urban conditions, as well as the reaction of the audience, some of whom the artist suggested interacting with the object. Sculpture was conceived as a way of working with urban space, aimed no longer at identifying social phobias, but at problematizing this space itself. At the end of the shooting day, a woman climbed into the hole, using the object as a podium to tell the tragic story of her life. The very idea of a portable sculpture allows, on the one hand, to overcome the alienation inherent in Minsk, which is expressed in the fact that the townspeople can in no way influence how the streets and squares of their native city look like. On the other hand, to create something like a monument of the future - individualized, mobile and interactive at the same time. The artist exhibits this situationist work "Mink" in the form of video documentation, including the object itself in the exhibition.

October 9, 2012

The artist has prepared another drift around Minsk as part of the international project “Going Public. On the Difficulties of Public Expression”, initiated by the Institute. Goethe. The “Personal Monument” campaign with a transforming sculpture, which consisted of three pink cubes (40 × 40 cm) and a yellow parallelepiped (120 × 40 cm), was consistently carried out on several squares in Minsk. However, on October Square, the artist and his assistants were detained by a group of riot police and taken to the police station. The sculpture was confiscated, two volunteers were beaten, and the protesters were charged with resisting law enforcement agencies. As a result, a trial took place, as a result of which all participants in the action were brought to trial, but were acquitted. After the arrest, the Institute. Goethe in Minsk called this action unsanctioned and refused legal and material support. The artist himself was forced to resign from his teaching position at the Belarusian National Technical University.

2012

Curator of the large-scale exhibition "Palace Complex" in the Gomel Palace and Park Ensemble.

2014

Curator of the group exhibition "Alphabet" in the Vashchenko Art Gallery in Gomel.

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  • gomel
  • minsk