Dasha Kuznetsova and Ilya Smirnov at Issmag in Moscow.

Dasha Kuznetsova + Ilya Smirnov: 14 19 32 43
Invited by Anna Teterkina
June 21 – July 31, 2019 by appt. only
Issmag, Moscow

A dot concludes a sentence. Here, however, it all started with a dot. Facing a blank sheet of paper you have
a bunch of options where to place a dot. Then goes another one, but your options are a bit more limited since
the second dot has to be coordinated with the first one. Positioning the third one is even more challenging. It goes on till you find a place for the final dot in this rather constrained composition. Now you have around 8 or 9 dots that
you need to connect to each other with straight lines to get a constellation. And again, you gotta find the best dot
to begin, and as you go step-by-step, the degree of freedom gradually decreases. Afterwards you realize that there was only one correct path which is effectively inevitable.
Said 2-dimensional structure had to be somehow converted into a sculpture form. This winter I had an idea unfolding around 8 or 9 locks mounted into a gallery wall and the keys connected with a thick wool thread.
My gallerist told me he’ll be unable to sell such piece, and it needs to be changed into something portable.
When I approached Dasha with this idea she suggested using carved wooden panel as a canvas for this tricky constellation. Since she works with wood carving a lot, we’ve decided to collaborate on a piece that took
around 6 months of production and now exists under the name of ОЛЯ.
Instead of a thick wool thread to connect the dots/keys we used a variety of guitar strings, so that the work would resemble a musical instrument. Keys, locks and strings added functionality to an otherwise decorative panel, creating a Jumanji box effect, an enchanted tool with unknown and dangerous purpose. To turn all the keys, you only need to turn one. It’s a bit like launching a nuclear missile.

Ilya Smirnov

Dasha Kuznetsova (b. 1989). Lives and works in Moscow. Holds MfA in Graphical Arts from Moscow State University of Printing Arts. A GARAGE Studios resident. Late group exhibitions include Klavier, 2019, Plague, Krasnodar; После нас только пепел, 2018, Project Richter, Moscow. Late solo exhibitions include Кто у меня мать на самом деле, 2018, START Winzavod, Moscow; СЕГОДНЯ БЫЛ ТЯЖЕЛЫЙ ДЕНЬ, 2018, Center RED, Moscow.

Ilya Smirnov (b. 1984). Lives and works in Moscow. Holds BfA in Art and Digital Media from Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and Master’s Degree in Classical Philology from RSUH, Moscow. Late solo exhibitions include Hector Servadac, 2019, Lily Robert, Paris; DOUBT (w/ Vitaly Bezpalov), 2018, llil.space, Rostov-on-Don; Mechanics Alley, 2015, 63rd–77th STEPS, Bari, Italy. Curated exhibitions include B, 2019, Money Gallery, Moscow; Dasha Kuznetsova, Кто у меня мать на самом деле, 2018, START Winzavod, Moscow; Ed Fornieles, Sim. Vol. I 2017, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York.