Aleksandr Korneev

born in Moscow, 1980

1999 to 2005 member of Radek Community

Together with Petr Bystrov has been teaching in the New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan as well as working on Radek Community archives presentation at Disobedience exhibition in Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. In 2008-2009 curated a series of workshops at Studio № 76, Moscow (together with Anna Orekhova) and directed Raja, a documentary movie. He was a participant to Entertainment festival held within the framework of 1st Moscow international biennial of young artists at Zverev center for contemporary arts in Moscow


The work of Alexander Korneev is a kind of anti-scientific experiment whose purpose is to examine the human capacity to survive. Moreover, the test subject is the artist’s own brother. The emphatic senselessness of this experiment – its inapplicability to the needs of humanity – forces us to draw comparisons with that branch of “modern science” for which the Nazi concentration camps became infamous. Passive victims placed in profoundly extreme situations all in the name of the “selfless” service of science: the savage face of unfreedom. Cruelty, however, is not something that characterizes Korneev as an artist, and we don’t find it in his piece My Brother, either. His gaze is neutral, his mind is cold – he is the ideal doctor. However, it remains unclear what the temperature of the water in which his brother sits submerged really is (it is obviously getting colder) and how long he stays in the water in the end. And why his brother? For one would imagine that it should be possible to free a relative from this duty for whatever reason, even when it is absolutely necessary to conduct such an experiment. Should the artist replace him with himself? No, we don’t find this logic or this noble impulse in My Brother. All that we are left with is a silent young man with a snorkel in his mouth under a layer of water. The latest subspecies of the Amphibian Man. This outline of a colossal record achieved with difficulty and shattering all imaginable reasonable limits, as well the utterly excessive parameters of the action (a scrawny pale man in swim trunks; his long, unending submersion) aspires to conjure in our minds a certain integral image of the victim of the regime and the tortured prisoner of conscience: to sit out one’s term whatever it takes, to emerge victorious in the battle with the elements. Which in this case, moreover, are not raging, but patiently biding their time. The water bides its time. And in the water a man bides his time. His brother.

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artists/aleksander_korneev.txt · Last modified: 17. 05 2013 16:11:54 (external edit)
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