Locaring — exhibition as an object.

The exhibition-object was organized by two artists, Alexey Khamov and Maria Wenslavskaya-Gribina. In the summer of 2019, they lived for two weeks in a small town in Russia, where Alexey’s family lives. In the old house where the family’s history comes from, the artists created a series of works and an exhibition, conducting a comparative analysis of everything that exists in the place and systematizing the information they received. 

“Locaring” — the name refers to a locating exhibition as an independent “object” in space. From the Latin locatio — placement, position. Ring — rope-fenced area for boxing (in our case, the space of the house itself is walled).

Maria and Alexey worked with the aesthetics of the space and the culture of the place, telling the story of the house itself, literally borrowing parts of the house to create objects.

During the summer and winter of 2020, they continued their work and created the second part of the project. Maria worked on a series of absurd still lifes, she used objects that had survived in the house, giving them a new meaning to replace those long lost. Found housewares served as the motif for the entire series. She built the compositions following the tradition of post-minimalist sculpture, and the space in which the objects are placed is the walls of the house itself, which in itself is already an artifact. 

Old dishes, electrical appliances and packaging evoke a sense of recognition and nostalgia in the post-Soviet viewer. With standard production, scarcity of goods and lack of variety, most household items were the same for everyone. This inevitably gave still lifes new shades of meaning, depending on who was looking at them. But whatever the cultural baggage of the viewer, simple objects in unexpected combinations, provide endless scope for interpretation and visual pleasure.

And then Maria tried to “try on the house” on herself, dressing up in clothes found in a closet and taking pictures in ridiculous poses that affirmed the presence of life in and around the house, but without defining the form and character of a particular time. 

Alexey went on to work on the project by photographing the old basement and burning through the wood. He used a primitive, decorative media that was born in the days when the house was built, the town, when the country was acquiring the features in which the province still exists today. Alexey burned on pieces of planks found in the garden and vegetable garden, on the outdoor toilet, on the fence; the motifs of his images are familiar to the eye — the objects around the house and in the house, such as the mousetrap, the towel, the tombstone, the Pyaterochka grocery store, the five-story building which is visible directly from the garden, and so on).

Alexey and Maria finished the project by returning to the house in May 2021. The artists had a second exhibition in the house and garden exhibiting work from the first and second parts of the project.

At the moment there are about 30 photos, about 20 objects and also the documentation of the 1st and 2nd exhibitions (the documentation is part of the project).