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From Friday 13 January to Sunday 12 February 2023

The CAC - la synagogue de Delme is pleased to offer you the exhibition Les illusions qui restent by Rodion Kitaev from January 13th to February 12th 2023 at the Gue(ho)st House


" This series of paintings was conceived back in Russia, and its somewhat encrypted and exapist nature is due in part to the current situation of Russian censorship. It occurred to me that the current state of affairs, in which one has to reassemble one's picture of reality in a new way every week, is reminiscent of the situation in early childhood, when the idea of reality is just being formed. Here I am thinking of two novels: Andrei Bely's "Kotik Letaev", which attempts to present the very early formation of the consciousness of the human being, and Günter Grass's "Tin Drum", which offers a view of the Third Reich through the eyes of a child who refused to grow up. That said, my childhood coincided with Perestroika, the collapse of the USSR and the 1990s, a period in which social reality was also undergoing radical change. Mutations of the personal and mutations of the social were intertwined with each other. Hunger, poverty and banditry are perceived by the emerging consciousness as the very logic of life, and at the same time as something completely irrelevant to it. I also think about how the boundaries of fantasy and reality become blurred: for example, fantasy usually exceeds reality, but nowadays in reality happens more than one could have imagined. My paintings don't directly refer to either of these novels – neither "Kotik Letaev" nor "The Tin Drum"– but they do relate to them aesthetically. Deliberately frightening, as in childhood, half-tale and half-toy, but sinister, the images are woven together into some kind of collages of autobiographical memories. The hardships, fears and brutality of life at that time are hybridised with the belief in miracles and childhood fantasies. Like Andrei Bely, who had a mathematical background and used it to work with words in his novel, breaking words down into elements and making new unities from them, I reassemble the fragments of my memories. Like Günter Grass, whose protagonist shows persistence in refusing to grow up, I practice a constant mental return to days long gone by, an attempt to reconstruct the worldview that changed long ago. The burning White House. Bathing in an ice-hole. The view of the Crimea from my childhood memories. A burning garbage bin under a dry tree with a hanging bird. A queue for eggs. Grandmother's plant pot with a poem by Yesenin. Images from the USSR's first soap operas. Children's hallucinations. " Rodion Kitaev


Rodion Kitaev's residency is carried out within the framework of the PAUSE program, device, piloted by the College de France in which participates the CAC - la synagogue de Delme.

Rodion Kitaev
Artist, illustrator
Rodion Kitaev was born in 1984, lived and worked in Moscow, Russia. Moved to Paris in 2022. He works with painting, graphics, objects, embroidery and puppits. This year he participated in NADA New York and Paris Internationale. In the spring of this year in St. Petersburg held a solo exhibition "Black Dawn" at the gallery 3120. 
As an illustrator he took part in the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2021, worked with Manifesta 10, 11 and Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop.