Yevgeniy Fiks

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Yevgeniy Fiks
Fiks Artwork AmericanCommunistsinMoscowTour.jpg
Yevgeniy Fiks leads a group tour in Moscow for his project entitled, American Communists in Moscow: Walking Tour. during the 3rd Moscow Bienniale of Contemporary Art.
Born 1972
Moscow, Russia
Nationality American
Known for conceptual artist, Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media, Performance Art
Website
www.yevgeniyfiks.com

Yevgeniy Fiks is a multidisciplinary, Post-Soviet conceptual artist. His medium includes painting, drawing, performance, and book arts. He was born in Moscow, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1972 and has been living and working in New York City since 1994.

Fiks' defines "the Post-Soviet artist" as one who has the responsibility to raise the proper understanding and critical reflection of Soviet history in order for Post-Soviet societies to move forward.[1] His works delve into the dialectic between Communism and "the West" and are based on historical research, usually of forgotten and unresolved Cold War narratives. Some of these topics include the shared histories of the Red and Lavender Scares during the McCarthy era; Communism in Modern Art; and African, African-American, and Jewish Diasporas in the Soviet Union.

Fiks has exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art, MassMoCA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and Museu Colecção Berardo in Lisbon. His work has been included in the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Biennale of Sydney and Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art.

Education[edit]

Fiks was trained as a Socialist Realist painter at the Art College in Memory of 1905 Revolution and V. I. Surikov Art Institute, both in Moscow. Fiks has a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College and a Masters in Fine Arts from The School of Visual Arts.

Art[edit]

Song of Russia no. 15
Fiks Artwork SongofRussia15.jpg
Artist Yevgeniy Fiks
Year 2007
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 91 cm × 120 cm (36 in × 48 in)

Fiks' more recent works reintroduces conspiracy theories as points of reflections, mainly, the claims that Stalin issued directives to use Modern Art and Homosexuals as weapons to destroy American culture.[2][3]

Song of Russia (2005–2007)[edit]

Fiks' Song of Russia is a series of oil paintings of images from Hollywood movies produced between 1943 and 1944 whose narratives focus on Russian life.[4]

Using scenes that portray propaganda images from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films Song of Russia and North Star and Warner Brothers film Mission to Moscow, Fiks painted each stills to bring attention to the practice of Socialist Realism in America. These movies were made at the behest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to promote Soviet-American relationship during World War II.[5][6][7]

Fiks describes the irony of these movies:

What makes these films unique is that they were produced in the USA during the Second World War, that is between the anti-Soviet hysteria that followed the October Revolution and the "Cold War" era. These films were made possible only during 1943–1944 when the goals of the American and Soviet propaganda machines coincided. The project "Song of Russia" reflects this forgotten chapter of the history of American cinema and narrates about the artificiality of the process of enemy construction.[4]

Lenin for Your Library? (2005–2006)[edit]

In this project, Fiks sent one copy of V.I. Lenin's book, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, to 100 major transnational corporations around the world including, among many others, Gap, Inc., Coca-Cola, General Electric, and IBM. Fiks received 35 response letters with 14 companies accepting the donation. The resulting response letters of rejection and acceptance compiled the art installation, which has been shown worldwide. The project questions the contemporary mentality of corporations as "entities" and the fate of Lenin's critique of imperialism today.[8] This project has also been compiled into a book with the same title.[9]

Communist Party USA (2007)[edit]

Portrait of Gabe Falsetta, Communist Party USA
Fiks Artwork CPUSA-Gabe Falsetta.jpg
Artist Yevgeniy Fiks
Year 2007
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 91 cm × 120 cm (36 in × 48 in)

This project focuses on current members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) in the form of portraiture. These portraits were painted in 2007 directly from life at the New York City headquarters of the Communist Party USA. The project attempts to question the limits of traditional Socialist Realist portraiture applied today to portraits of contemporary American Communist.[10]

Communist Guide to New York City (2008)[edit]

This project is a collection of photographs of buildings and public places in New York City that are connected to the history of the American Communist movement. This includes the contemporary offices of CPUSA on West 23rd street, John Reed house in Greenwich Village, and W.E.B. Du Bois apartment in Harlem. This project was published into a guidebook.[11][12]

Adopt Lenin (2008)[edit]

Adopt Lenin, installation view 1
Fikst artwork adopt-Lenin winkleman gallery view.jpg
Artist Yevgeniy Fiks
Year 2008
Type installation view

In this project, Fiks spent $5000 collecting Lenin memorabilia including Lenin’s busts, small statues, posters and photographs from Ebay and from shops in Moscow. From September to October 2008, Winkleman Gallery[13] hosted a solo show for Fiks where all collected memorabilia were put on display to be "adopted" and taken for free by viewers. The catch is that participants or "adopters" signed a legal contract preventing them from putting the memorabilia back in the market. In short, they can't sell them again. The signed contracts were also on display as part of the art exhibition.[14][15][16][17]

Books[edit]

  • Moscow, from Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012[18]
  • Communist Guide to New York City from Common Books,[19] edited by Common Room with essays by Olga Kopenkina and Kim Foster, 2008
  • Lenin for Your Library? from Ante Projects,[20] edited by Nick Herman with an essay by Olga Kopenkina, 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ "http://xz.gif.ru/numbers/digest-2005-2007/fiks/"
  2. ^ Yevgeniy Fiks: Communist Conspiracy in Art Threatens American Museums at Temple University Gallery: http://www.temple.edu/tyler/exhibitions/files/fiks/index.html
  3. ^ Homosexuality Is Stalin's Atom Bomb to Destroy America: http://www.winkleman.com/exhibition/view/2375
  4. ^ a b Song of Russia, 2005–2007. Yevgeniy Fiks. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  5. ^ See: Le Monde review "http://www.galeriebluesquare.com/uploads/4d07ac14bf8d5416ca9a52aa6a26fb91.pdf"
  6. ^ See: 20Minute review "http://deliredelart.20minutes-blogs.fr/archive/2009/01/21/la-metro-goldwyn-mayer-epinglee-par-le-russe-yevgeniy-fiks.html"
  7. ^ See: L'Officiel article "http://www.galeriebluesquare.com/uploads/cb01b280e1ac5a42a2ee7ce3ab95fe29.pdf"
  8. ^ Lenin, Libraries, and Legacies: An Interview with Yevgeniy Fiks "http://ducts.org/12_06/html/art_gallery/fiks.html"
  9. ^ Book on Amazon "http://www.amazon.com/Lenin-Your-Library-Yevgeniy-Fiks/dp/0979291917"
  10. ^ New York Foundation for the Arts. NYFA. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  11. ^ SCribe Media: Communist Guide to New York City. "http://www.scribemedia.org/2008/11/07/communist-guide-to-new-york-city/"
  12. ^ See: AfterImage review via Common Room "http://www.common-room.net/sites/default/files/pdf/afterimage_35_6.pdf"
  13. ^ Edward_ Winkleman. Edwardwinkleman.blogspot.com (5 September 2008). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  14. ^ See: ArtFag City review "http://www.artfagcity.com/2008/10/02/yevgeniy-fiks-at-winkleman-gallery/"
  15. ^ De-fetishizing Lenin Kitsch « thing theory. Thingtheory2009.wordpress.com (3 February 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  16. ^ See: Art in America review by Michael Harvey (via Winkleman Gallery) "http://www.winkleman.com/press/view/1620"
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ Ugly Duckling Presse: http://www.uglyducklingpresse.org/catalog/browse/item/?pubID=196
  19. ^ Book Launch: 6 Nov – Communist Guide to New York City. Common-room.net (31 October 2008). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  20. ^ See: Lenin for your Library? at Ante Projects "http://anteprojects.com/_06/ante_06.html"