Paper Ship – Dmitriy Zabolotnikov’s solo exhibition


Paper Ship

Dmitriy Zabolotnikov’s solo exhibition

February 24th – March 16th, 2018

Inauguration Saturday 24th February H.6.30p.m.

“Hello, my Dear Friends!

I’m writing this message to you impressed by the news about the opportunity of my personal exhibition in Bergamo, a wonderful town with a proud history, situated at the very bottom of the ancient Alps on the blessed Italian soil, multiply glorified by the poets of various epochs! Needless to say, what it means for any enchanted wanderer.

Be it an artist with a rave of color on the palette, a dancer with dainty and weightless legs, or some inspired vagabond with a lute in his hands and a warbler instead of a heart.

Thanks to this impression I’ll try to live through this period of expectation of meeting you with my spirits being sunnier than it’s usually common among people making masks, wearing masks, comprehending the necessity of a mask, and who fatally found themselves under very specific conditions which presuppose the development of this particular genre. In other words, under nasty conditions. It’s common knowledge that there are certain side effects and unpleasant parts in each profession and vocation, so I’ll write nothing biographical here. I’m afraid of offending your tastes and expectations by conspicuous irrationality and a total lack of self-love, and I’ll have to write a big fat book of commentations and explanations in the hope of reclaiming your goodwill.

In spite of all these wrinkles and subjective aspects of creative work, ambiguousness of the standpoint, divisiveness of the material, its gloominess and satirical tendency, I named my project without a doubt “The Paper Boat”, using a slight reference to “The Drunken Boat” by Arthur Rimbaud, who among the scattering of wonderful characters depicted a sulky frowning boy silently watching his boat which is as gentle as a moth…

I didn’t misspeak. In spite of excessive emotional agitation inherent in my works, all of them with few exceptions have been made in a quiet silent half-meditative state, as gentle as the fore-mentioned poetic boat.

It’s another matter what all these paper emotions and caricature passions symbolize, what they mean, what they correlate to, and how they are interpreted. If I choose the right words and the translation is correct, I might possibly be able to distinctly and intelligibly share some observations and conclusions based on them, the latter being rather interesting for various connoisseurs and enthusiasts in this subject.

But I say it again, my friends, – everything is made of paper, everything is fragile! I don’t have a pathos of unconditional faith in what I do. Criticism is possible. And if there will be some, then let it be, in fairness, by all means made of paper and cardboard like a prop weapon in a puppet theater. I’ve had enough of rudeness. I long for elegance, easiness and wit. I got tired of defending. I want, conversely, to learn something, maybe to behave in a different way, so that one could bear us in the kitchen, like Brecht advised.

The picture is becoming clearer and if you can already see me on the horizon of your attention-breaking my back, stumbling, falling, clutching at roadside bushes, but still keeping on pulling and pulling my paper boat which is growing and growing right before your eyes, call maestro Caruso and the natives, too, like in a marvelous film Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog! And perhaps, perhaps, due to the work of my representative, consent and cooperation of the Italian side and fundamental support of people close to me, we will be able to drag it over the mountains all together and let it float freely under azure skies! Hooray! So be it!

Yours sincerely,

Zabolotnikov Dmitriy

June 2017


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