“Perverted Basket” – the new project by Ivan Novikov explores the relationship between nature and art. This relationship is seen through the social prism and that is what takes Ivan 40 years back to one of the most violent episodes in the human history and in the history of totalitarian regimes of the XX century. The uprising of the radical leftist youth led by Pol Pot in 1975 Cambodia sought to destroy all products of civilization, including money. Pol Pot described his political ways with a phrase: “Before us people were trying to pick the rotten eggs out from a basket, we are going to turn this basket upside down and replace the eggs ”. For the artist a basket turned upside down becomes a metaphor for tremendous social degradation with wild jungles eating up the cities, from where people where expelled, thousands of them having been killed just for their knowledge of machine operation or the fact of wearing glasses.
“Nature got intertwined with politics to act against urbanisation” – Ivan Novikov explores this rare and significant episode of the modern history in his installation that combines paintings, photography and objects. He thinks of painting as a medium different from all other featured art forms in terms of reflecting the relationship between nature and civilization that is built in the very material layer of a canvas and paint on the level of artist’s reflection. This social and political component of painting had also been deployed in avant-garde (especially in Russian constructivism) and minimalism. Novikov enhances that – as we commonly call it – abstract image with refreshing cutting-edge quality, combining critique of figurativism with a brave philosophical attempt to envision the human and artistic paradigms from a standpoint of natural processes.