Two revolutionary events took place in 20th-century Russia that changed the way we look at the world: the emergence of non-objective art and the founding of the Soviet Union’s space programme. Beyond Zero is a homage to these historic moments and explores how contemporary artists continue to challenge conventional notions of time and space.
Mikhail Matyushin’s Reference Book on Colour
Beyond Zero presents a full set of hand-painted colour plates from Mikhail Matyushin’s Reference Book on Colour for the first time in the UK. Matyushin was an avant-garde artist, a musician and a close associate of Kazimir Malevich. Together with his students, Matyushin staged practical experiments to test his idea of ‘expanded vision’. In studying how a primary colour interacted with a surrounding colour, he observed how the neutral space between the two became tinged with a secondary tint. The results, recorded in these hand-painted tables in 1932, have helped generations of architects and designers find harmonious colour schemes for their work.
The visions of filmmaker Pavel Klushantsev
In film studios in Leningrad, years before human space travel, visual-effects pioneer Pavel Klushantsev developed groundbreaking visual and technical feats in film that envisioned a future of zero-gravity, unrestricted space travel, humans living domestic lives on space stations and cosmonauts clambering across the surface of the moon in search of oil and minerals. Klushantsev’s films proved a major influence on the works of Stanley Kubrick and George Lucas. The exhibition screens two of his sci-fi documentaries: Road to the Stars (1957) and Moon (1965).
Contemporary artists going ‘beyond zero’
Four contemporary artists explore what it means to go ‘beyond zero’ today.
Vadim Fishkin’s immersive installation creates an experience of travelling through space at just under the speed of light, using rapidly changing light to mimic the passing of a day in just two minutes.
Moscow Conceptualists Elena Elagina and Igor Makerevich have created a specially commissioned installation reflecting on the mythical and poetic power of the cosmos within Russian society, and the way in which space exploration entered popular imagination with the arrival of television.
Peter Belyi’s site-specific installation of floating glass globes is reminiscent of celestial bodies.
Moscow-based artist collective BlueSoup group presents a new 3D video projection titled Murk, which creates an abstract immersive environment.
Beyond Zero is curated by Olesya Turkina.