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Dreams of Mexico


22 NOVEMBER 2011 - 21 JANUARY 2012

PiLOT Gallery, hosts Bashir Borlakov’s solo exhibition “Dreams of Mexico” between November 22nd and January 21st.

The panoramic series described as “fictional reality” that Borlakov has been producing since 2005, focus on the fleeting image of the past. While placing the invisible problems in his realm of life under the lens in a sarcastic manner, he was also visualizing the post-1989 Russia’s struggle with late capitalism and the deteriorated parts of the old system through a poetic language. Borlakov, who works as a committed and fastidious researcher, and was referred to as “an artist who has mastered the skill of evaluating the issues of his time”, has chosen to narrow down his subject matter to look into it deep and wide.

Borlakov’s series that will be presented for the first time at PİLOT Gallery consists of 8 photographs that are computer-generated paintings of our day rather than photographs. These works that strike the viewer with their accomplished visuality, lure us into participating in an historical gymnastics. In a 1940s setting, through 6 chosen characters, he shows us how obscured what we think we know could get, and how easily the things we did not know could be grasped like a painting gleaming in front of our eyes.

A series of events that took place, or that could have taken place, or perhaps that never took place between Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Lev Trotsky, Sylvia Agaloff, Ramon Mercader, David Alfaro Siqueiros is transformed into fruitful elements presenting Borlakov’s view of history. Through these network of relationships, making the fundamental issues of being a human, like love, hatred, betrayal, art, politics and death visible, the artists deconstructs our historical knowledge.

According to Pierre Nora, memory -that is life- is “open to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting, unconscious of its successive deformations, vulnerable to manipulation and appropriation, susceptible to being long dormant and periodically revived”. In that sense it is in constant development. What Borlakov defines as the historical unconscious is not history, but memory and fantasy stressing the immensity and unpredictability of possibilities.

Borlakov, who perceives himself as a miniature artist, is interested in visualising the chaotic history of the 20th century that is considered in a single aspect in the world of text & film. He suggests that historical realities change according to the eras and proposes that history is written from the perspective of the present day. Borlakov’s writing of history is like a theatre play full of absurdities. The artist takes on an impossible mission of writing history with an approach far from a documentarian. In that sense, the strange and uncanny encounters in his photographs flourishes on the dark ground of the unconscious that embraces all sorts of possibilities.

Borlakov envisages that we, as people living in a certain time and space, are dreaming a common dream, that we are living in a dream. According to him every age is dreaming of its own utopia. In that sense, the images he produces today are nothing but the visualisation of a common memory that does not solely belong to him.Beyond all its individual attributes, art functions as a historical and social document. One of Borlakov’s protagonists, Trotsky, dreams of Chagall paintings. Mercader is punished like Prometheus. An artist could become a murderer, someone known as the wife of a famous painter could be transformed into the most significant heroine of 20th century. History is bendable according to the priorities, perception and approach of the age lived in.

This first solo exhibition of Borlakov at PİLOT, gathering a collection of new works that have not yet been shown elsewhere, could be visited between November 22nd and January 21st.

The Dream of Ramon Mercader (detail), 2011, Photography, 235x80 cm