FRAGMENT is pleased to present Vladislav Markov's first solo exhibition with the gallery. Titled EIGHT FEET UNDER, the exhibition is comprised of immersive installation, sculpture, and paintings for which the artist employs a practice of obstructing and recontextualizing the familiarities and narratives of utilitarian objects. Markov’s artistic manipulation renders the object in an unfamiliar corporeal state in order to bewilder the viewer’s perception, stripping from the sculptural form not only its previous use value but also the intimate (in)visibility of the quotidian.
For EIGHT FEET UNDER, Markov has transformed the exhibition room into a cold grey box. The banal perforation of pinboard, which the artist found at every greengrocer as a child, coats the formerly white walls of the gallery space, while prosaic—even corporate—late capitalist, gray carpeting eliminates the warm wooden floors. As idiosyncratic and personal as it is apparently objective and inhospitable, Markov’s installation recalls visual elements of the artist’s childhood in the concrete architectural elements of the ubiquitous leaden-hued buildings of the post-Soviet landscape. Likewise, even the artist’s process reveals intimate details of painful personal associations; with an obsessive emphasis not only on the copy but the act of copying, from painting to sculpture, Markov’s use of scanners, 3D printers, and imaging technology points toward medical imaging, made necessary in the artist’s life due to family illnesses as recurrent, intergenerational incidents.
The artist’s procedural gestures and resultant work represent an altered version of a readymade: instead of the displacement of a recognizable object outside of the possibility of use—or inside the white-walled space of the exhibition—here the artist alters the readymade through his process and practice, consisting of dialectical shifts from digital to physical states and back again. Likewise in the artist’s large-scale painting X is for later, beguilement and estrangement reign through successive transformations, resulting in the decontextualization of an object of once quotidian encounter. Depicting a centrally placed turquoise rectangle bordered by a white wall with grey shadows, this work represents the source image of what, though it could be a swimming pool, is in fact the face of a disused dishwasher. Oscillating, like a wash cycle, between digital and physical states, the artist embeds the image and object into a process of transition and metamorphosis: at once unrecognizable and uncannily unchanged. The end result is one of estrangement from all visual anchors, disclosing the despair of radical uncertainty, causing the viewer to consider that all that seems to be naught more than shadows on these cave walls.
Vladislav Markov (b. 1993) is an artist based in New York, with an MFA from Cornell University. He has exhibited at Cornell University, M 2 3 in New York, and Spazio ORR in Brescia, Italy.