«Egyptian pack» evokes many associations — here are both Petersburgers favorite topic of werewolves (see the movie of E. Yufit «Corpsmen werewolves») and references to the Perm animal style;
Also we can recall British film «The Wicker Man» (1973) with its ritual procession of the man-beasts, however Sonin himself watched it when the work on the first part was about to end.
A year ago, Sergey Sonin and Elena Samorodova, who always had a weakness for Mask culture, began to make masks of key players, the “national — romantic mythological hallucinosis» as they call it, or in short, — the living totems. It was necessary to show their impact with land-marks. Actually, «Pack»– is a marked territory.
«Egyptian pack» contains humor in Kierkegaard’s sense of the word. To paraphrase Kierkegaard, the heroes of this shooting are not humorists, but, apparently, they are comedians. Sometimes it’s really quite funny, especially if you know who is hiding behind the masks (for example, Man-moose — actor and director Konstantin Murzenko, Man-boar — artist Alexey Belyaev-Gintovt, etc.).
However, it does not stop at laughing. The last project of the creative duo — «Generals of the 70’s», was also devoted to the game with disguises, but there the heroes were, at least, in harmony with their environment. The characters of «Egyptian pack», probably, are in limbo — they are some kind of anthropomorphic incognito, which to the full no longer belong to nature, but are moving somewhere beyond it.
Sonin himself, talking about the exhibition, says more about the lost Russian Gothic and calls his style «guerrilla photorealism.» To my taste, «Egyptian pack» — is rather a fable, in which instead of morality there is a hallucination, as optical experience. Hallucinations of the field artists, rather than the routine of everyday life nonsense. And this hallucinations are more Anglo-Saxon. This is seen especially in the second part of « Egyptian pack», which is now in operation.
However, the imperative hallucinations of artists, in the end, purge from the mind all redundant interpretations, so that we can only confidentially state — saw a man-beast.
Egyptian Pack, Part One
Sergey Sonin & Elena Samorodova
Until 29 February 2012
Moscow, Bolotnaya emb. 3 b. 4
Gallery open hours: 1-8 pm, Tuesday-Saturday
phone: +7 495 644 03 13