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Eugeny Antufiev

Eugeny Antufiev, Needle Work, 2009

Evgeny Antufiev, born in 1986 in Kyzyl, in the Republic of Tuva. Lives and works in Tuva and Moscow. From 2008 – a student of the Institute of Problems of Contemporary Art. The winner in the “Young Artist. Project of the Year” nomination of Kandinsky Prize -2009

“Asleep are the forests and villages, the skies, the misgivings,

And the shining will fall from on high and become your destiny.” Yegor Letov.

In the spring of 2010, I became acquainted with a wolf hunter in Tuva named Ivan Oyun. It was an unexpected meeting, and this exhibition came about just as unexpectedly.

Ivan showed me his photographs, which he had taken in the indescribably cold, shining taiga, and he himself had something of these qualities. I was hypnotized by the light in them, which I had never encountered before.

If you consider Ivan’s work, photography, home, possessions and life all together, they amount to a single shining structure, one that is unbelievably complex and at the same time extremely simple. The life of a hunter is subordinated to natural cycles and to a certain extent becomes one with the lives of his victims, the wolves. I wanted to somehow document this and perhaps enter his space. It seemed for just a second that I captured the primal, magical art from which it all stems.

Ivan is a professional hunter and makes a living by selling the wolves that he kills. I bought one wolf from him, dismembered it and boiled all its bones, collected the blood, dried the heart, windpipe and eyes, and dried the tongue and ground it into powder. I interviewed Ivan, made a short video of him, and asked for a few of his personal things. I tried to make some objects and to sew some wolves.

When I began to reflect on the exhibition, it became clear to me that I had no right to usurp Ivan’s life and things, to turn them into some anonymous ready-mades. I realized that we would have to stage a joint show.

Perhaps some people will question my actions, but in the spring of 2010 all of this seemed completely logical and reasonable to me. The interview with Ivan is the text that accompanies the exhibition, and without it much of what is on show will not make any sense."

Evgeny Antufiev, Untitled, 2011


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