On 17 December the Alina Pinsky Gallery premiered ‘Just a Shot Away’, an exhibition by Tim Parchikov. This is a curatorial selection of works based on the artist’s key series ‘Suspense’. There are some fifty works from different periods, including the most recent presented. Spontaneous frames that could well be taken from a film convey a kind of premonition, the instant ‘a minute before the shot’ from suspense movies.
Winner of the Kandinsky Prize and Moscow Art Prize, Tim Parchikov is one of the few Russian artists who have collaborated for many years with European and Asian galleries. His works regularly participate in foreign exhibitions and have been showcased at prestigious fairs including Art Basel, Frieze, ARCO, and others.
A catalogue with introductory articles by art critics Irina Kulik and Kira Dolinina is released for the exhibition.
Since 2004 Tim Parchikov has been working on conceptual series, choosing ‘explanatory’ titles for them. Best known are ‘Burning News’, ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Magnitogorsk, from Stalin to Putin’. Critic Kira Dolinina characterizes these names as the visual realization of a verbal metaphor in which both challenge and self-irony are simultaneously present.
The exhibition ‘Just a Shot Away’ is based on one of the primary series in Parchikov’s oeuvre, ‘Suspense’. These works are characterized by the frequent absence of human beings, the ambiguity of emptiness and silence, a certain airlessness of space, and intermediate states of nature. The title seems to refer back to the cinema. This is not by chance – Parchikov graduated from the VGIK Faculty of Cinematography and Higher Directing Courses. The artist began the ‘Suspense’ series in 2006, and is constantly updating it.
The name ‘Just a Shot Away’ is again a play on words and meanings. ‘It’s just a shot away’ is both a reference to cinema, and to the famous Rolling Stones song ‘Gimme Shelter’. Moreover, the word ‘shot’ is synonymous with ‘frame’ in English.
Aggressive flare-ups from the ‘Burning News’ cycle with flaming newspapers, gloomy images depicting the hard life of the monotown Magnitogorsk, or the deceptively tranquil project ‘Dead Time’ about the situation of constant tension in Israel – these images carry a shared sense of the coming apocalypse. The central theme of the exhibition ‘Suspense’ concerns this feeling. Frames from other series seem to be strung along the Suspense line, combined in a film that creates an overview of the artist’s work.
From Irina Kulik’s article:
‘This is not so much a cinephilic stylization as a study of the anxious state that also excites the imagination and can be experienced by observation of everyday reality. The frames shot in various places – Turkey and Iceland, China and Israel, Venice and the Moscow Region, represent not so much self-sufficient picturesque ‘views’ as ‘locations’, places of potential action, incidents, crimes, adventures. It all looks not so much frightening as inspiring – who among us has not dreamed, especially when travelling, of being ‘in the movies’. Looking at some of these pictures, it’s hard to believe they are not staged. But no, even the man in a hat and woman in black with tragic make-up, characters whose anachronism is only emphasized by jeans in a shop window, are merely anonymous citizens of Tel Aviv. And the intricate shot filmed somewhere in Venice, where in the intricate game of inverted reflections you distinguish the legs of a woman in a black mini running down an alley, is not a scene from a giallo where the sensual heroine flees from a sinister pursuer.’
Tim Parchikov was born in Moscow in 1983. He graduated from the VGIK Faculty of Cinematography (2007) and the Higher Courses of Directors and Screenwriters (2008). Lives and works in Moscow and Paris.