David Ter-Oganyan

Opening: January 24th, 2006 / 7 pm January 24th – March 19, 2006 Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Via Ventura 3, Milano 20134

Curated by Marco Scotini

With the deliberately provocative title Break and Take the second showing at the new Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani of Milan opens after Regina Josè Galindo’s exhibition.

Inviting us to destroy the wide glass-wall window of the gallery along Via Ventura and to plunder the contents is David Ter-Oganyan, an emerging, but already well known, Russian artist (born in 1981) in his first Italian solo exhibition. This new project, which gathers photographs, videos, canvas and stickers made especially for the occasion, will open on Tuesday the 24th of January 2006.

If at first glance the geometrical abstract compositions of David Ter-Oganyan, appear like a pop version of the Malevich’s Suprematism or of El Lisitskij’s graphic, in reality they soon reveal them selves to be operating maps: tactical schemes of terrorist actions, trapping devices, or emergency and security plans. They are urban crossings, building plants, segmented diagrams, military positions. That “desert where nothing is recognizable” so typical of the suprematist “manifestos” comes “diverted” from David Ter-Oganyan, through an interventionist practice which engages in strife, in a space dominated by the “power”

Vice versa, it’s been years that the artist scatters in museums and public spaces weird objects, each time different but always connected to a timer, which resemble time bombs look-alike. Placed in empty corners or just left on the floor, positioned where less visible, such objects become the sign of a possible threat, spreading insecurity, they are challenging our reactions. But these sub-terrorist devices are nothing more than ordinary products like popcorn, bottles of Coca Cola, whole piece’s of cheese or package of spaghetti: the detonator is false and This is Not a Bomb is on the label. During the Prague Biennial, in 2003, they created more than one problem with the local police but it seems that every time these harmless objects represent a sort of danger.

Painter of the “state of exception” and representative of an aesthetic of the suspicion, David Ter-Oganyan puts on stage a radical critique, sometimes extreme, of the most significant syndromes of our times, above all those factors that determine the general conscience of the public like the fear of an invisible enemy, terrorism, war, anti-globalism and criticizing capitalism. Its portraits are representing Cecenian terrorists or politicians like Putin, the Prime Minister Fradkov; its recurrent themes are the urban riots from Prague 2000 to the Parisien “banlieu” 2005. To the financial Russian crack of the August 1998 Ter-Oganyan and Alexander Korneev’s answer was to steal books from the shops: it is not possible to renounce culture!

Known to have received the prestigious Russian prize “Black Square” and for participating in the Biennial of Moscow and in the Biennial 2 of Prague, David Ter-Oganyan is back from the Triennial of Turin curated by Francesco Bonami and Carolyn Christov Bakargiev. David Ter-Oganyan is also one of the founders of the Radek Community of which he is a member until 2005 and with which he participates in Manifesta 4, at the Venice Biennial, the 1st Prague Biennial and in other important exhibitions.