The Black Earth Total Installation
– Solo Exhibition Black Earth. Art Ru Agency. Moscow. 2013
– Art Exhibition Main Line . KultProject Gallery. Moscow. Catalogue. 2014
Technically, the definition of 'total installation' may seem to suit the project well, however this burdensome academism is not appropriate. With the same unassured success one would call a shaman's tent or an ocean liner installation. This installation optics is the result of ideological chauvinism, the colonial habit to call anything strange Other and, accordingly, uncomfortable-to-comprehend, or, at best, amusing. The crossing between indifference, the amusing and understanding is difficult to pass. However the starting point of Chernozem Project is placed farther along the way of rebirth of a limited single consciousness to the total consciousness. The crossing between Earth and Heaven, being and nonbeing is the Black Soil, the source of death and birth. The model of traditional Cosmos developed by Chumak in the whole space of Agency. Art Ru calls for understanding that Cosmos is not limited by the gallery but is open up and down to infinity.
The first level of the gallery is the world of Earth. Shown as live art performance, a ritualistic burying of Anton Chumak takes place there. Immersion in Earth symbolizes death and rebirth. A ritualistic death is necessary to initiate Hero who rises from the ashes to new life. This passionate myth is the same in Russian folk tales and Christianity. Eternal life can only be reached through unity with Black Soil which is a cist for the Logos; and the Word will be there, where the world of the living and the world of the dead have merged.
The second level opens up the world of people. Its meaning is in wandering, the mystery connection between the Upper and Lower Worlds, and the understanding. An old Soviet motorcycle with a country style custom tuning performs the function of a nomad's horse. In the steppe without landmarks, every nomad knows that the road has only 2 points: life and death. A horse of sorcerer becomes a means of vertical — not just horizontal — wandering between the Worlds. All of them are displayed on the Chumak's frieze "The Worlds" which was inspired by Scythian relief sculptures. Ornamental motifs of the lower tier of the frieze are a symbol of fertility and black soil as a source of life. In the medium tier, traditional attributes of abundance have been contemporized. Instead of corpulent herds, we can see oil tanks defended by solders as principal Good of today: a TU-160 bomber and GLONASS satellites. The Upper World of the last tier is a fight scene. Winged gryphons attacking ungulates symbolize change of zodiac cycle, traditionally.
In the Art of Mystery tying the universe together, the meaning of being human is revealed. The Art of Mystery neutralizes the poison of modernity which causes death without a chance to be reborn. The Art of Mystery is a kind of work that, while using different shapes, has been done from birth of the world and will be done henceforth. The artist returns the spirit of participation, the spirit of Created Legend which is repressed in the system of existence of contemporary art by economic methods.