October 22-25, 2017
Opening reception Sunday, October 22, 6-8pm
Fridman Gallery is proud to present DISASSEMBLED, a series of over 50 new works on paper by the Russian-born photographer Alexander Kargaltsev, the artist's second one-person exhibition in New York. The one-of-a-kind prints portraying male and female nudes utilize a meticulous process invented by the artist of manually removing and resetting Polaroid emulsion on new background.
The reclining poses in which the models are presented in DISASSEMBLED recall Old Master drawings. However, the nudes are shown from multiple viewpoints, their bodies no longer sums of their parts. Kargaltsev uses this treatment as a metaphor for dismemberment and defenselessness of human dignity. The artist embarked on this project in reaction to recent mass murders of gays in Chechnya, as well as to the troubling odds of Trump's election in 2016 and Putin's shoe-in reelection in 2018.
For Kargaltsev, the impunity with which gay-bashing persists in Russia and many other parts of the world makes his personal voice of resistance ever more urgent. "I always respond with my art, with my photography, with my projects, so I keep fighting," he said in a recent interview.
The artist's critically acclaimed first solo exhibition in New York,
ASYLUM (2012), portrayed his fellow Russian-born gay asylum seekers who had fled the increasingly harsh persecution at home. Photographed on New York City rooftops, against the background of the city's historical and architectural landmarks, their naked bodies underscored the feeling of freedom and safety they found here. Kargaltsev's new body of work
DISASSEMBLED, reacts to the deteriorating state of human rights in Russia and the U.S., with an approach that is both disturbing in its urgency and poetic in its intimacy.
Alexander Kargaltsev is a Russian-born, Brooklyn-based artist, writer, photographer, actor and film director who was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 2010 on the grounds of LGBT persecution in his native country. His award-winning short films, The Cell (2010) and The Well (2009), were made during his time at the Russian State University of Cinematography, the alma mater of many greats of Russian cinema, including Sergei Eisenstein. Since relocating to New York City, he has focused on photography and political activism, confronting in his art and writings the worsening anti-gay policies of Putin’s Russia. His 2012 book ASYLUM, published as a companion piece to his first solo exhibition in New York, documents the rebirth of young Russians who found refuge in the U.S.
Sunday, October 22, 5pm
Artist talk with Hunter O'Hanian
The Brooklyn Rail
October 5, 2017