Avant-garde and Liturgy

Part of: The City as a Workplace


As part of this lecture, Oleg Kulik explores the idea of «the Mystery» as one of the founding principles of his creative work. Chronologically and typologically, Kulik’s work has «Soviet» roots, being indirectly connected with SotsArt and Moscow Conceptualism. At the same time, Kulik belongs to a later stage in the development of art. The artist has gone down in the history of contemporary art as the «Dog-man», for his series of 1990′s era performances in Berlin, Strausberg, Moscow, Rotterdam, Zurich and other cities. Later the artist turned to more traditional techniques, such as photography and photomontage, and began to create sculptures and installations.

At this moment, Kulik is working in a genre which can be described as «spatial liturgy», in which the space is formed and framed by the objects, the light and the sound, merging with the viewer. According to the artist, a spatial liturgy is an aesthetic ceremony, a ritual, or mystery during which the various experiences undergone by the viewer subsequently release him or her from alienation, filling them with trust in the surrounding space. One of the critical events for the formulation of the spatial liturgy genre was the staging of Monteverdi’s Les Vepres de la Vierge, at the Theater du Chatelet in Paris in January 2009.