Triennial Artists

Udmurt is an anonymous artist working in Yekaterinburg. Intervening in street life through extremely minimal and often non-intrusive actions such as sculpting a figure from a crack in the wall and a nearby leaf, or from a pile of broken glass or fallen fruits, the artist’s traces can only be appreciated in documentation. The viewers of these myriad poetic interactions are often the same people who are responsible for their destruction, accentuating the fragile nature of street art, whose position on the margins is crucial for the preservation of its essence and vitality. Working as a sort of anthropologist of street art, Udmurt highlights valuable issues around its state and mission today. An example is the ongoing series of interventions Dead Language (2015– ), in which the incomprehensible nature of tagging language is highlighted through the use of Latin translations of witty slang aphorisms in Russian. Drawing parallels with street art’s vernacular, where slang and curse words are naturally accepted as part of a culture which claims to exist outside established rules, Udmurt hides one such phrase in plain sight within Garage’s future building, the Hexagon. Handwritten on the back of one of the huge banners enveloping the building, it can be viewed from a special position (16+), creating an intimate yet public intervention.

Snejana Krasteva