Opening: Friday, January 20, 2023, 8 pm
Duration: 20 – 28 January 2023
Location: HAZEGALLERY, Bülowstrasse 11, 10783 Berlin
The solo exhibition Repetitive Actions by Pavel Zeldovich opens at HAZEGALLERY in Berlin on January 20, 2023.
Pavel Zeldovich was developing this project in Moscow from 2021 until early 2022, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced him to leave his country and move to Berlin.
The project is a multi-genre series of digital prints and videos of urban daily life. Despite their apparent diversity, the paintings share a common theme: a set of endlessly repetitive actions. The situations depicted are not isolated moments in life, but rather parts of endlessly repeating cycles – day after day, year after year, generation after generation… Going to the grocery store, coming home from work, brushing their teeth in the morning, having a smoke on the balcony, surfing social networks on the phone – people do most of those things constantly and continuously. Repetitive Actions explores the idea of the hidden power of the „boring“ daily routine. The actions depicted in the paintings themselves are inconspicuous and trivial. But when triviality is repeated everywhere and uninterruptedly, it acquires tremendous power over our lives. Perhaps the most notable work of the project, School Class, an allusion to school group photo shoots, is, from the author’s point of view, an embodiment of this phenomena of repetitive action. Similar photographs are kept at home by almost every person on our planet. Despite changing generations of teachers and students, the strict, nearly totalitarian structure of school life remains unchanged.
There is another dimension to the project: the historical or, one might say, national. Made in Russia, Zeldovich’s works naturally reflect the urban life of Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. But phenomena and experiences depicted in these digital prints are universal and equally understandable to European, American, and Asian people.
The works in this project are also united by the visual approach that can be observed in most of Pavel Zeldovich’s works: an ironic contrast between the external deliberate decorative effect and the ambiguous and sometimes even depressing phenomena depicted in the paintings.
The technique of the works based on 3d modeling is largely the product of Pavel Zeldovich’s long international career as an architect. He was a student and later colleague of the great Zaha Hadid, famous for introducing advanced computer-aided design techniques into architecture. By becoming an artist Pavel applies his computer skills, acquired during many years of work as an architect, in a completely new capacity.
The artistic influences which have shaped
Pavel Zeldovich as an artist reflect the path of many contemporary artists from the former Soviet Union: echoes of the legacy of Soviet Socialist Realism mixed with influences from postwar modern art in the West. In Pavel’s case, the latter includes American photorealists of the 1970s such as Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, and Charles Bell. The basic principle of their work has largely shaped the Repetitive Actions project. These artists deliberately and meticulously reproduced on their canvases the „dull“ places of the American backwoods. The act of recreating a trivial place or object transformed these supposedly insignificant things into something important and majestic. Reinterpretations of Soviet Socialist Realism (largely based on the traditions of the Renaissance) can easily be found in many of the works of the Repetitive Actions project, above all in Pavel’s particular love for circular compositions-rotundas, which in many ways parody Soviet decorative stucco on monumental facades.
About the artist: Pavel Zeldovich studied architecture in Moscow and Vienna, and before turning to arts, he worked in architectural firms in Vienna, London, Moscow, and New York, most notably in the internationally famous firm Zaha Hadid Architects. Before moving to Berlin due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pavel participated in numerous exhibitions in Russia and abroad.