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Nizhny Novgorod Life Cycle

Exhibition explores the ecosystem of a city’s inhabitants, wooden architecture, flora and fauna.

“Desolation” (2016) by Andrey Druzhaev

In the 2010s a new art scene emerged in Nizhny Novgorod as several local street and graffiti artists started experimenting with the ways in which they could engage with the urban environment. They began using Nizhny’s disappearing wooden architecture in an effort to reinterpret their city’s vanishing complexion, eventually expanding their activity to include new forms, statements and spaces. Decay, transience, memory, myth and nature are the main themes and points of interest employed by these artists through murals and site-specific installations. 

One veteran of the Nizhny scene is Andrey Druzhaev, who started out as a classic street artist, but since 2016 has been actively creating land art objects, seeking to integrate natural phenomena into his works. His elegant piece “Desolation,” situated on a picturesque riverbank, combines simple static and dynamic elements: reinforcing bars, metal tubes, fallen leaves and wind.

Druzhaev is one of the participants of the “Living Alive” exhibition, curated by Nizhny locals Artem Filatov and Alisa Savitskaya. The exhibition showcases works by city's young artists and primarily deals with its local context – “living spaces, defined as such due to their imperfection and fleetingness.” It also includes works from the NCCA collection as well as the results of artist research residencies in several Russian cities.

Living Alive, National Center for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), Moscow. Till May 14.