Exhibition exploring decline of print media opens in St Petersburg

23 July 2014
Text Nadia Beard

An exhibition dedicated to exploring the decline of print and the growing dominance of online media will open in St Petersburg on 31 July, with artists presenting their take on how these changes can influence culture, creativity and identity. Printed Matter features Russian, American and European artists, whose mix of literal and abstract artworks includes explorations of anything from how history is remembered to the analysis of different media formats.

Housed in the Museum of Printing, the exhibition juxtaposes old and new, with most of the featured artists privileging the use of paper, cardboard and wood over more sophisticated materials in their exploration of online publishing and broadcasting.

Artist Serge Ogurtsov, whose work in the exhibition investigates the dominance of the image over text, told The Calvert Journal: “I don’t think it’s paper that’s in decline, but linear alphabetical writing that is being forgotten, with visual images taking its place. I’m more interested in language itself, its connection to text, its relation to visuality, its role in subjectivity.”

The work of German artist Alexandra Leykauf takes inspiration from Everybody’s Autobiography by Gertrude Stein, which uses mirrors and autobiography titles to explore the schism between individuals and how they choose to portray themselves.

She told The Calvert Journal: “The title of an autobiography can be seen as an ultimate statement about a person’s life, but at the same time it is a persona rather than an actual person. It’s important to realise that there is no direct view, no direct experience when we are dealing with text or images. The medium always plays a crucial role between what is being represented and our perceptions.”

Printed Matter is part of the parallel programme of Manifesta 10 and will run until 24 August.