Russian artist Kirill Savchenkov explores existence within the social environment of the post-Soviet city, a topic particularly poignant for the country’s emerging generation.
Savchenkov works across various media, his output ranging from audio-performances to site-specific installations and 3D-modelled visuals.
He’s always been interested in Russia’s tower block suburbs, with their complex layering of personal histories and collective memories, and the particularities of their urban planning. Although he’s often worked with the topic in a fictionalised way — for instance, placing 3D models of tower blocks in a virtual idyllic landscape — for him, the work is also about the personal experience of living in one of these areas himself.
Savchenkov’s project Museum of Skateboarding, exhibited at Calvert 22 Space in 2016, addresses the more global topic of human interaction with the urban space. It inspects skateboarding as a vehicle for physical interaction with the city, and perhaps an unlikely aid in survival and evolution of humans as a species.
In his work, Savchenkov appropriates the multitude of expressive languages and narrative tools — archives, instructional videos, anonymous marks on the pavement — and effortlessly switches his gaze between different time frames, which makes him one of the most cutting-edge Russian artists of his generation.
Text: Anastasiia Fedorova