"The joyful and naive universe in which the spectator is immersed is disturbing because, by analyzing the works closely, he faces a terrible accident. »
Camille and Nikita Kravtsov
A fatal car, train or plane accident is something that fascinates us and, at the same time, we try to ignore and push back from our field of consciousness. In our society, the idea of death is hidden as if it were not part of our existence.
The ideal life is a life that rejects everything that is unacceptable. This observation is a nod to the idea of "kitsch", dear to Milan Kundera: this "station of connection between being and forgetting". Here, the vision of a car accident is a dangerous opportunity to feel the presence of death and, therefore, the intolerable truth of being dead.
In their Crash Test series made of collages on canvas with motifs cut out of old kitchen cloths, the Kravtsovs defuse the morbidity of reality by pushing the expression of kitsсh to its climax: the accident becomes an acidic, joyful and childish universe. Their art rejects reality and invites us to remain in a gentle and comfortable torpor. Like Camille and Nikita, we have fun with what we see, and we willingly accept this playful and colourful universe that keeps us at a safe distance from what is disturbing.
And because you never have as much fun as being a player yourself, the Kravtsovs have created fake accident cars made of cardboard and boxes in which visitors can get up to have their picture taken. He will then join a whole gallery of Parisians photographed on board the machines in various places in the capital a few days before the exhibition.
Nikita Kravtsov (Ukraine) is in residence at the Cité internationale des arts.