ASTRA
contemporary art gallery
ASTRA
RU            

Shokhov Nikita

b. 1988, Russia

Nikita Shokhov is a visual artist and filmmaker. Working in XR, video and photography Shokhov focuses on the duality of human nature: body and mind, science and religion, sexuality and politics.

EDUCATION:

  • 2019-2020 Virginia Tech, MFA Creative Technologies
  • 2018-2019 CalArts, MFA Program in Film and Video
  • 2010-2013 Rodchenko Art School Moscow, BFA Photography and Multimedia

AWARDS / GRANTS / RESIDENCIES:

  • 2019 — Nova Art Award, finalist, Russia.
  • 2019 — Diversity Grant, “Klaxon” production, CalArts, USA.
  • 2018 — Lilian Disney scholarship, USA.
  • 2018 — Cosmoscow Foundation, Russia.
  • 2017 — Puffin Foundation grant, NY, USA.
  • 2017 — Indiana Humanities grant, USA.
  • 2016 — Watermill Center Summer Residency, NY, USA.
  • 2016 — Award for Young Photographers, Russian Union of Photography, Moscow.
  • 2015 — Silver Camera Award, Russian Department of Culture, Moscow.
  • 2014 — World Press Photo Award, Amsterdam.

"I am very happy to live in our fast-changing world, where visual media plays such an important role. I've always been fascinated by optical images - I started my journey from black-and-white photography, and now I'm exploring the world of virtual reality and immersive installations.

There are several problems that I work with in my art practice. I am interested in expanding the boundaries of the traditional Western understanding of what a person is. It may be that the individual's mind is not limited to his body. In my recent work, I study the intersection and separation of mind and body. One of these themes is carnival culture, where mind and body collide. For example, the video work Ice is based on a study of carnival in Antiquity and the Renaissance, when binary oppositions grotesquely changed places for a short time of the holiday: the king became a jester, and the jester sat on the throne, death and birth were a single process, the genitals rose to the rank of intellectual, and serious thoughts were ridiculed. I was attracted by the connection of carnival with the great changes in medieval society: instead of religious oppression, scientific discoveries and the flourishing of thought came, the ancient carnival returned to the Renaissance As a natural reaction to times of harsh politics and mass epidemics - it was necessary for the recovery of society. In the Moscow Nightlife project, I was interested in understanding the significance of the carnival mode in modern authoritarian Russia. The combination of documentary and production allows me to explore modernity through documentary elements and subtly change reality through staged ones. The collision of real and fictional worlds creates their unexpected interactions. Although I don't have complete control over the creative process in this case, such unpredictability is a source of media adrenaline that can't be achieved either in the Studio or in a documentary setting alone. The political context has a great influence on my work, and I often think about politics, although I do not seek to make direct comments on specific events. I think artists reveal their fundamental political beliefs in any of their work, whether they want to or not. Since I was raised in the left - wing traditions of the Rodchenko School, I support policies that look forward, correct outdated stereotypes of the past, and offer better ideas for the future of humanity.

Another important phenomenon for me is religion. I studied Orthodoxy in Russia in the Religious procession project. Utrish's other project combines themes and images from the old Testament with modern counterculture and the hippie movement. Finally, the Klaxon's current video project takes the basics from the Buddhist concept of inner liberation through meditative contemplation. I am strongly attracted to the methods of fundamental science: scientists study a narrow area of reality, form hypotheses, experiment, analyze the results, and thus discover fundamentally new things, contribute to the overall intellectual progress. The starting point in my art practice is often ignorance of some phenomenon, which makes me do many years of "field research". For example, I worked on three major photo projects simultaneously for several years, and for a recent VR video project, I did academic and field research for two years. Such long-term intensive study allows me to become an expert in specific socio-cultural areas. Examples from Russia include carnival life in Moscow clubs (Moscow Nightlife), Orthodox religion (Procession), hippie subcultures on The black sea coast (Black Sea, Utrish, ice), and the historical site of the richest layer of Russian society (Rublevka). In the United States, I am working on a project on the role of the media in the struggle of African-Americans against a racially repressive white society (Black Chorus and Orchestra, the Klaxon). For me, the language of cinema is of particular importance. From the very beginning of my artistic career, I was fascinated by cinema - I studied it and watched a lot of movies. As a result, the film language began to play a Central role in my mind, which largely determines the visual quality of my photo and video works. Now, working with immersive video, I try to organize cinema images and signs in the exhibition space, based on my understanding of the semiotics of cinema. Finally, I want to talk about conscious work with the medium. I'm interested in experimenting with new and old visual tools. I choose the medium depending on the task, so that all the elements of the technological process work for the main idea. For example, the specific color of the Kodak film perfectly captures the visual richness of the Orthodox pilgrimage documented in the Procession, and the SCAN project derives from digital scanning technology, the effect of which is ideal for displaying moving crowds in mass processions. I'm currently using 360-degree video for the Klaxon, because spherical cinema and virtual reality are now becoming serious visual tools, and it also helps to convey the film's theme of self-reflection and the hero's opposition to past experiences. From provocation to discussion. One of my goals is to work at the intersection of social research, literature, technology, science, visual and sound. Another goal is to respond to the challenges of the outside world, I think, a new ethic of society in readiness to respond to changes in the world. That's why I want to make art that communicates with people, create a new visual language and experience for modern society, and search for new social roles and meanings of art today. In my early works, one of the intentions was to provoke the viewer. The use of open provocation is well suited to Russian reality. Most members of Russian society are passive and infantile in political discussion-such is the history and cultural peculiarity. Therefore, artistic provocation is an effective way to attract public attention there. People usually react to things that are beyond their understanding of the "norm", so I often depicted communities that are on the periphery of everyday life. Working on projects in the United States, I communicate with the public in a different way. Here, discussion, dialogue, and discussion of problems are preferable. For example, in the Last March, my co-author and I discuss world war II, the Cold war, and modern Russian-American relations. At the Klaxon, I open a discussion about self-identity. In General, I see intellectual discussion as a positive addition to my art practice, since discussion and provocation together represent more subtle channels of interaction with important issues in society.

About future plans

Many of the phenomena of Western culture that I am particularly interested in depend to a large extent on Eastern philosophy, and I think it is a good way to respond to the challenges of the outside world - to combine the best concepts of Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. This is why creative collaboration in a multicultural group is very productive for me, which is what I have been striving for lately. The world is undergoing major changes in the field of image. When everyone can make a movie using a mobile phone, a new paradigm of visual language is emerging, and I'm happy to participate in the process of its formation. Gradually, I came to the conclusion that perhaps the main value of art, or any other activity, is the benefit for millions of people, not individual ambitions; it is service to society, not to your career. I think this is the direction I would like to go further."

SOLO EXHIBITIONS / SCREENINGS:

  • 2020 — “Scan:Klaxon”, 11.12 Gallery, Moscow.
  • 2019 — “Klaxon” CalArts Bijou Fest, Los Angeles.
  • 2019 — “Ice”, Anhydrite Biennial of Media Arts, Barbarossa Hoehle, Germany.
  • 2018 — "Scan: Where the Carnival Goes", Museum of Moscow.
  • 2017 — “The Last March”, collaboration with Naum Medovoy, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow.
  • 2017 — “Ice” screening at ARTDOCFEST film festival, Moscow.
  • 2017 — “Scan”, Alvitr Gallery, Yekaterinburg.
  • 2015 — “Sacred Procession”, Baltic Biennial of Photography, Kaliningrad.
  • 2015 — “Children: personal space”, Gallery Peresvetov, Moscow.
  • 2014 — “Moscow Nightlife”, Moscow Biennial of Photography.
  • 2013 — “Black Sea vacations”, Biennial Fashion and Style in Photography, Moscow.
  • 2012 — “Empty Hills. The Space of Joy”, Galerie Iragui, Moscow.
  • 2012 — “Sochi. City of the future Olympic Games”, White Nights Festival, Perm.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS / SCREENINGS / PERFORMANCES:

  • 2020 - ENTER Art Fair. Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2020 — “Möbius Loop” by a-s-t-r-a gallery, Spring/Break Art Show, New York.
  • 2019 — “Darling Angel”, Redcat, Los Angeles.
  • 2019 — “LAST DODO”, CalArts Digital Expo, Los Angeles.
  • 2019 — “LAST DODO”, CalArts Winter Session Lab, Los Angeles.
  • 2018 — “Moscow-New York" screening, EEP Berlin.
  • 2018 — “SCAN”, 8th Tashkent International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Tashkent.
  • 2016 — “ICE”, FADA: House of Madness, Watermill Center, Water Mill, New York.
  • 2015 — “Sacred Procession”, The 5th Photoquai, musée du quai Branly, Paris.
  • 2015 — “GAZ. Hope”, The 6th Moscow Biennial, Moscow.
  • 2015 — “Borderlands”, Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, London.
  • 2014 — “Twelve Reflective Photographers”, Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg.
  • 2014 — “Young”, GUP gallery, Amsterdam.
  • 2014 — “Moscow. Barocco”, Triumph Gallery, Moscow.
  • 2014 — “Artistic invention of yourself and the pure enjoyment of life and love”, Austrian Cultural Forum, Moscow.
  • 2014 — “Moskovia. Research”, All-Russian Decorative Art Museum, Moscow.
  • 2013 — “Stability. Ghosts”, Random gallery, Moscow.
  • 2013 — “Trash”, RuArts gallery, Moscow.
  • 2013 — “The Happy End”, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow.
  • 2012 — “The Stone Flower”, National Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow.
  • 2011 — “Life in Motion”, International Center of Photography, New York.

ART FAIRS / ART BOOK FAIRS:

Printed Matter Book Art Fair, Los Angeles (2019), I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel (2018), VOLUMES, independent book festival, Zurich (2018), Photography Fair Moscow (2014, 2015), Cosmoscow Art Fair (2014).

PUBLICATIONS:

New York Times (USA), The Guardian (UK), Le Monde (France), Harper’s Bazaar Art, Interview Russia, ELLE Russia, TV Rain (Russia), L’Express (France), Courrier International (Italy), IL (Italy), Fluter (Germany), China Newsweek, L’Insense Photo (France), DUMMY (Germany), Calvert Journal (UK), Afisha (Russia), Lenta.ru (Russia), Snob (Russia), Time Out Moscow, Kommersant (Russia), Colta.ru (Russia), YET magazine (Switzerland), Revista Colada (Argentina).

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:





Works

Cathedral of the Christ the Savior. Moscow Traffic
115 000 ₽
St. Patrick's Day, Washington DC 2016
Shokhov Nikita

St. Patrick's Day, Washington DC 2016, 2016

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
Sacred Procession, Kirov oblast 2015
Shokhov Nikita

Sacred Procession, Kirov oblast 2015, 2015

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
Memorial Day, Chicago 2016
Shokhov Nikita

Memorial Day, Chicago 2016, 2016

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
May 1st, Moscow 2013
Shokhov Nikita

May 1st, Moscow 2013, 2013

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
Gorky Park, Moscow, 2013
Shokhov Nikita

Gorky Park, Moscow, 2013, 2013

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
St Patrick's Day, Boston, 2016
Shokhov Nikita

St Patrick's Day, Boston, 2016, 2016

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
St Patrick's Day Parade, New York, 2016
115 000 ₽
Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans, 2016
Shokhov Nikita

Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans, 2016, 2016

Inkjet print, aluminum frame
38 х 51 cm
115 000 ₽
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