In 2020, I’ve got the special award provided by French Institute in Russia at Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award. It was three-month residency in Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where I stayed from October 2020 to January 2021.
When I arrived in Paris, I received many congratulation messages from different artists, and I realized that for many Russian artists to exhibit abroad, especially in Paris, is a kind of dream. So, I decided to make this dream come true whatever it takes.
At first, I sent an e-mail with my portfolio and an offer of collaboration to 76 galleries in Paris. Only one gallery responded – the Gagosian Gallery wrote me a polite rejection. It became clear that most galleries don’t check their e-mails, so to make sure the local gallerists would notice me, I placed my advertisement in the Parisian underground in the two districts with a lot of galleries, le Marais and Triangle d’Or.
Contrary to my expectations, even after that the gallerists did not pay any attention to me. The art market and art institutions, despite their openness and friendliness, turned out to be extremely closed organizations with their own strict rules and etiquette. It turned out that if an artist comes to a gallery with a proposal for collaboration, it is considered a gesture of desperation. It is better to write on behalf of the art manager, even if he or she does not exist. The situation is especially difficult for foreign artists. Despite an active and self-organized creative life in Russia, the number of contemporary Russian artists established abroad can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
I had no choice but to make an exhibition of my own. I started walking around Paris at night with a projector and projecting my work on the walls of galleries through the windows. This exhibition is a dream, it does not contain any physical works, it is made of naive expectations, notions of success and dreams of conquering the foreign art scene, out of scraps of texts, reviews and comments that every artist expects to see in their exhibition.