press release

The third and final position, after the Dandy and the Collector, that Marres investigated in 2006, is the position of the Dilettant. There are different reasons for the interest in the dilettant. The most important is the idea of resistance that accompanies the image of the dilettant. In a period of a renewed search for a critical position within art from social engagement, there seems to be a beautiful promise hidden within this image. But the resistance of the dilettant has its own distinct quality; a possible reason for the current lack of attention for this special position. Its uniqueness comes from its rebellion against every externel norm. The dilettant also resists political correctness, the professional norm and above all the market. For the dilettant the intention is clearly a more important point of entrance than the way in which this intention is materialized and definitively formed into a product.

For guestcurator Svetlana Kunitsina, Russia is the land of the dilettanti. As leidmotiv for the exhibition she took a quote by Boris Groys:

"Russian art becomes art only abroad and only by being exported".

A more distant approach to the system of value behind art seems to be unimaginable. At the same time she is also author of the title Dilettanti, From Lenin to Putin and back again in which she shows the perspective taken in the exhibition. The resistance of the dilettant is for Kunitsina the ultimate tour de force of the individual as opposing a despotic system, whether governed by communistic ideologies or the liberal laws of capitalism. And the weight of her ambition is not without reason. In this connection the dilettant has no academic or literary meaning, but exists as a political reality, the political actuality in Russia so dominant that it possibly weakens the position of the dilettant in nuance, but its imporance as a form of criticism is indefinately strenghtened.

7-09-06 Bad news: Marat Guelman, gallery-holder robbed and assaulted in Moscow. The exhibition The Dilettant in Marres can not be presented in its intended way. On November 10th, Marres planned to open the exhibition The Dilettant. For this exposition, guestcurator Svetlana Kunitsina invited The Blue Noses, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and Georgy Litichevsky. Last week several artworks by The Blue Noses in which Bush, Putin and Osama Bin Laden were presented, were confiscated by the authorities in the gallery of Marat Guelman.

According to Guelman this was because of the critical character of the works, according to the authorities because of incorrect exportpapers. Yesterday the gallery was attacked by a nationalistic gang and Guelman and his employees were assaulted, computers destroyed and the works by the Georgian artist Alexander Dzhikia were ripped of the walls. According to Svetlana Kunitsina this is no incident but inherent of the current developments in Russia. Guelman, who is seen as an enemy of Russia by right-winged radical groups because of his Jewish last name and his anti-fascistic campains, tells the media:

"They chose modern art and me as their enemy".

only in german

the Dilettant:
From Lenin to Putin, and Back Again
Kurator: Svetlana Kunitsina

Künstler: Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Georgy Ostretsov, Georgy Litichevsky, The Blue Noses Group