SANYA KANTAROVSKY

'Apricot Juice'
Studio Voltaire, London
17 April – 7 June 2015
With a performance by IEVA MISEVIČIŪTĖ
PRESS RELEASE

‘Well what have you got?’ asked Berlioz.

‘Apricot juice, only it's warm’ was the answer.

'All right, let's have some.'
The apricot juice produced a rich yellow froth, making the air smell like a hairdresser's.

– Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Sanya Kantarovsky (b.1982, Moscow, Russia) whose practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and occasionaly film, has brought together his own work with that of Lithuanian-born artist Ieva Misevičiūtė. Misevičiūtė’s practice combines physical theatre, dance, stand-up, Butoh, perverted academic language and sculptural work.

'Apricot Juice' takes place around two distinct parts - a language and movement based performance by Misevičiūte and a group of five large-scale paintings by Kantarovsky. The exhibition departs from Mikhail Bulgakov’s enigmatic masterpiece novel 'The Master and Margarita', a narrative woven around a visit by the Devil to the aggressively atheist Soviet Union. Written between 1928 and the author’s death in 1940, the novel has become one of the most potent and critical works of Russian literature of the 20th century.

During two live performances Misevičiūtė will interact with her environment on a cat-shaped 
stage placed in the nave of the former chapel, and built to conjure the form of Bulgakov’s demonic feline character Behemoth. Together with the paintings, scaled and lit in response to the original function of the chapel as a place of worship, the installation invokes the Christian metanarrative within 'The Master and Margarita'.

The genesis of the collaboration between the two artists consisted of a series of gesture drawings and character studies of Misevičiūtė in Kantarovsky’s studio. The final paintings, indexical to Misevičiūtė body, mirrored chronological scenes from the novel. In turn, Misevičiūtė re-appropriated the paintings as a departure point for building a layered movement and language based performance, eventually closing the collaborative loop by engaging with the paintings hung in the gallery space. In effect, the process allowed both artists to consider the content of 'The Master and Margarita' at length, coalescing and diverging their practices in the process. The resulting event, ad absurdum, considers a possibility of a space between literature, painting and theater, in which secular skepticism can momentarily dissolve into belief.

Performances:
Thursday 16 April 2015, 7.30pm & Saturday 18 April 2015, 7.30pm

Sanya Kantarovsky, 'Apricot Juice', 2015
Installation view, Studio Voltaire, London



Sanya Kantarovsky, 'Apricot Juice', 2015
Installation view, Studio Voltaire, London



Sanya Kantarovsky, 'Apricot Juice', 2015
Installation view, Studio Voltaire, London



Sanya Kantarovsky, 'Apricot Juice', 2015
Installation view, Studio Voltaire, London



Sanya Kantarovsky
'The Master is Released: Behemoth cut himself a slice of pineapple, salted and peppered it, ate it and chased it down with a second glass of spirit with a flourish that earned a round of applause.', 2015
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'The Master is Released: Behemoth cut himself a slice of pineapple, salted and peppered it, ate it and chased it down with a second glass of spirit with a flourish that earned a round of applause.', 2015 (detail)
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'The Flight: Margarita floated out of the window, where she turned and hit the glass a gentle blow with her ham- mer. It shattered and cascaded in smithereens down the marble facade on to the street below. Margarita flew on to the next window.', 2015
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'The Flight: Margarita floated out of the window, where she turned and hit the glass a gentle blow with her ham- mer. It shattered and cascaded in smithereens down the marble facade on to the street below. Margarita flew on to the next window.', 2015 (detail)
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'The Flight: Margarita floated out of the window, where she turned and hit the glass a gentle blow with her ham- mer. It shattered and cascaded in smithereens down the marble facade on to the street below. Margarita flew on to the next window.', 2015 (detail)
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'Pontius Pilate: You cannot even think and you can only long for your dog, who is clearly the only creature for whom you have any affection. But the pain will stop soon and your headache will go.', 2015
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique
(KANTAROVSKY-2015-0036)



Sanya Kantarovsky
'Pontius Pilate: You cannot even think and you can only long for your dog, who is clearly the only creature for whom you have any affection. But the pain will stop soon and your headache will go.', (detail) 2015
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique
(KANTAROVSKY-2015-0036)



Sanya Kantarovsky
'Hail to the Rooster!:... the wretched victim of her own rashness and van- ity, cheated by the sinister Faggot, could do nothing
but hope to be swallowed up by the ground.', 2015
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'Hail to the Rooster!:... the wretched victim of her own rashness and van- ity, cheated by the sinister Faggot, could do nothing
but hope to be swallowed up by the ground.', 2015 (detail)
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique



Sanya Kantarovsky
'Never Talk to Strangers: At the very moment when Mikhail Alexandrovich was telling the poet how the Aztecs used to model figurines of Vitzli-Putzli out of dough — the first man appeared in the avenue.', 2015
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique
(KANTAROVSKY-2015-0037)




Sanya Kantarovsky
'Never Talk to Strangers: At the very moment when Mikhail Alexandrovich was telling the poet how the Aztecs used to model figurines of Vitzli-Putzli out of dough — the first man appeared in the avenue.', 2015 (detail)
Watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, oil stick on canvas
280 x 180 cm
Unique
(KANTAROVSKY-2015-0037)



Sanya Kantarovsky, 'Apricot Juice', 2015
Installation view, Studio Voltaire, London



Sanya Kantarovsky, 'Apricot Juice', 2015
Performance by IEVA MISEVIČIŪTĖ, Studio Voltaire, London