Cosmoscow Blog

"Series": Nikita Seleznev

On August 15 and 16, a new “Series” appeared on Instagram by the artist Nikita Seleznev

For the Series program of the Cosmoscow Foundation, Nikita Seleznev turns to Roland Barthes’ text “A Lover's Disourse: Fragments”, a philosophical study of the image of a man in love divided into short fragments devoted to an idea or ideological image that could presumably arise in the head lover, to captivate his or her imagination in the depths of mesmerizing fantasies. Seleznev wonders, what is the culture of describing love experiences for a lover? A place where the inability of the lover to formulate the image of the beloved is temporarily satisfied by simulation, an approximate construction in which the lover sees himself. Perhaps this is an emotional trigger for launching new circles of experiences, worries, jealousies? Are all love songs created for training before future loves, so that the lover does not fall into madness and keep himself within the boundaries described in the love lyrics? In the words of Bart: “This is the difficulty of the love adventure: Let them show me who to desire, but then let them get out! There are countless episodes when I fall in love with someone who is loved by my best friend: any rival was initially a teacher, a counselor, guide, and mediator.”

For Seleznev, the drama of love experience and the modern TV series have certain similarities. Both of these phenomena consist of a series of affects, where each affect is comparable in its impact power with a culmination (if there is a place for the culmination at all). “The flux of language through which the subject tirelessly rehashes the effects of a wound or the consequences of an action: an emphatic form of the lover's discourse.” (Roland Barthes). The series, while paying homage to classical drama, often tends to repeat itself in a similar manner. From scene to scene, we see stories that make us worry along with the protagonist. Everything spectacular, disturbing, cruel will happen immediately. Heroes no longer shy away from ultimate experiences for the sake of climax. At the end of each twist, there is a point after which life goes on again. 

Another similarity between series and the state of love is isolation within oneself. “There is something in the state of being in love that makes the lover turn away from the social, to focus solely on the object of desire...” (Roland Barthes). And there is something in the series that makes you empathize with the hero, observe how his (your?) feelings twist.

The full version of “A Lover's Disourse: Fragments” you can find on Instagram.

Nikita Seleznev is an artist. He was born in Perm in 1990. He graduated from the Shadr Regional Art College, Ekaterinburg and studied at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts, Wroclaw. He also graduated from the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design (architectural and decorative plastics department) and the PRO ARTE School for Young Artists. In his latest projects, Nikita is inspired by the morphology of the Internet language translating the memes and visual culture of 16-year-olds into the language of installation, plastics, sculpture, objects and video. Love ballads, pop tracks and rock hits are brought to life by the artist in the form of his 'karate poetry' verses.