Artist opens historic studio at the Red October, Moscow 'Rastvoyrennaya Pechal' or 'Dissolved Sadness'

 
 

Two months into my stay in Russia, his studio at the Red October chocolate factory in the heart of Russia’s capital; the studio is up and running. This is where I will be creating his new Russia-inspired body of work for the next five months until the opening of the exhibition ‘Rastvorennaya Pechal’ (Dissolved Ennui or Sadness)  in one of the main contemporary art spaces in the country – Triumph Gallery, in April 2014. 

wide interior view of the artists flooded underground studio in moscow collaborating with Triumph Gallery

I moved the whole studio by truck to Moscow at the beginning of December 2013, and for my new home I have chosen a very difficult space; a disused basement of the historic red-brick complex that housed one of the oldest Russian confectionaries 'Red October' between 1851 and 1994. Today, the surrounding space is occupied by high profile architects, digital bureaus, art galleries and media companies. In stark contrast to these refined surrounding the space chosen was very primal and had not been used in over 70 years and was in need of major work before the creation of new works could begin.

The previously unused basement is now transformed into a fully-functional artist studio with previous works hanging on the walls, props for new scenes in fabrication, and hay stacks serving as my bed.

For me, it is only genuine to make the works for the Russian exhibition from within Russia itself, using local materials and inspiration. The idea prompted me to surrender my London studio and move to a country I had  only briefly visited a few weeks earlier. This was a difficult decision as I knew it would be during the coldest winter months in a dereflict space without heating, toilets or water.

The adventure unfolds.

artist aleander james with his underwater installation of a floating cemetery

interview view of the red october studio moscow