Video Artist: Program ESCAPE
Duration: 4 min 36 sec


Author – ESCAPE Program ( Valeriy Ayzenberg, Anton Litvin, Liza Morozova)

Video performance.

Three artists in red suits dig a triangular pit. They think they are doing necessary work. They act in coordination, not paying attention to anyone around them. This meaningless process can be interpreted both literally (as the digging of a grave or a search for a treasure) and figuratively (as soul-searching, self-reflection, escapism, or detachment). Since the soundtrack for the video imagery is the hum of attendees at a gallery opening, marked by the distinct voices of well-known critics, we could say this work is about aspects of creating a work of art.

The goal of the “diggers” is blurry, but we can speak of a process of endless “depth/deepening.” There is a moment of the absurd that, one way or another, is present in almost every work of the Program, absurd brought to its limit. The strange form of the object, the persistence of the diggers, and the sense of futility — these are the three conceptual components of the project.

One could suppose that the futility of the diggers manifests itself not only outwardly, but also in the depths of their consciousness. They are obsessed with an idée fixe, and they are trying to prove an absurd message: As we know, the Earth is a sphere. The corners of a triangle on a plane are sharp, but on a sphere they are dull. If a sphere is opened on a plane, then there comes an intermediary moment when the corners of its triangle are neither dull nor sharp. But in conditions of isolated form this can only be a square. The simple process of digging a deep hole proves that a triangle with right angles cannot exist either on the surface of the sphere nor at any distance from its center. In other words, under no conditions can a triangle become a square.

(Valeriy Ayzenberg) 

Program ESCAPE

Program ESCAPE (until 1999 – ESPACE) was established in 1999 by artist Valeriy Ayzenberg. In the same year they were joined by artists Bogdan Mamonov, Anton Litvin and Liza Morozova. Currently, the program takes part Valeriy Ayzenberg, Konstantine Adger and Vincent Nilin. In the period from 2006 to 2007 came from the group B. Mamonov, A. Litvin and Leonid Morozov.

In the course of business, determined the structure of the Programme, including joint projects of members of the Programme (group ESCAPE) and gallery ESCAPE (exhibition and action group members and guest artists on the territory of galleries and other venues).

In typological terms the gallery activity can be attributed to the international practice “artists run spaces”, and besides it sorts of revives in a new context the Moscow tradition of Apt-Art (Apartment Art). All the four programme members are curators of gallery exhibitions.

The gallery ESCAPE is the place where the first programme actions were held. Over five years there were arranged 25 exhibitions altogether. With few exceptions these are mostly experimental individual exhibitions of invited artists.

ESCAPE was originated as a response to monopolization of the present-day art by a particular narrow circle of gallery owners, curators and critics: new ways of competition inevitably encourage development of new strategies. In this case the activity of an artistic group proves to be more effective than an individual work of one artist. But it should be mentioned that to the same extent the programme was caused by the need for collective creative work experienced by each group member.