The world is becoming more humane. Alexandra Kukinova
Interview with a member of the jury for the third season of Gaudir, Alexandra Kukinova.
In an interview with you, I read: “Alexandra Kukinova, who grew up in the Soviet Union, had a happy childhood. Her parents and grandmother surrounded her with cultured, free-thinking people. She received a lot of impressions from theater, cinema, painting and literature, which will later be expressed through her dolls ... "
Which of these “free-thinking people” do you remember the most? To what extent has this person influenced you as a future doll maker ?! How important, from your point of view, to choose an example for yourself to follow, admiration, follow this example all your life?
Independence of thinking and inner freedom were the main properties of my family and their environment. You know, these were people who, intuitively or consciously, resisted lies and evil. Openly or covertly, they avoided lying, vulgarity and groveling. They were scientists, art critics and writers. Apparently, these properties are necessary for creative people. Feeling for the truth, searching for the truth. When we lived in the summer with my grandmother in Koktebel, I was then 8 years old, a wonderful society gathered on the balcony of our room in the rest house to listen to Bulat Okudzhava. I had the good fortune to go to festival films, read contemporary and samizdat literature, and attend rehearsals at the Taganka Theater. It seemed to me that all people are like that, live like this, and think so ... I was still quite a child and just listened, just read, looked ...
And I just loved my dad, mom, grandmother. Admiration and respect, of course! But they come when you grow up and understand with whom you grew up.
Fate gives us people who are ready to help, open doors to other worlds, and teach. Further - only our curiosity and desire to learn, see, hear, and think.
Living in a family and society, we imitate. We do this unconsciously. This is how we learn to walk, talk, behave. Learning is based on recognizing and remembering everything that has been done before us. This is how nature works. But deliberate imitation, copying someone else's life seems to me unreasonable and even harmful. Yet, as it seems to me, the task of any person is self-improvement and self-determination. Only a developed individuality is interesting.
It is generally accepted that a real work of art can be created only when you yourself have experienced a personal tragedy. How true or controversial is this statement ?!
Discussing this issue, it would be necessary, first of all, to clarify what we mean by the concept of "work of art". This is not an idle question. I am sure that spiritual work is needed to create good work. Only what is in the jug can pour out. Skill is required, i.e. proficiency in the language spoken by the artist (sculptor, musician, writer, director, painter, puppeteer). An educated viewer who can read this literary text is required. And yet, for a truly great art, you need talent or a kiss from God, or a connection with the Universe.
A fragile sensitive soul (and a creator always has it) suffers from a harsh word, from vulgarity, filth, lack of understanding. This is also grief and pain. Suffering ennobles the soul. In my opinion, there is no art without subtle feeling.
This property should not be confused with sentimentality or sweetness, they have nothing to do with it.
Should an artist always be “hungry” and “hungry” or does he need the support of the state and patrons of the arts? At one time, your father helped you and you created an enterprise that became successful and prosperous ... Do you have a desire to do something similar for young promising artists? Transfer your experience and knowledge to beginners? Which of the modern puppet masters would you note, support with advice, or even (!) Take as your pupils (in the author's project) ?!
It seems to me that an artist should be “hungry and hungry” for creativity, development, and self-education. Real hunger can provoke such a phenomenon, which we call "hack". The word speaks for itself. Or make the artist work for the needs of the day, doing things that "people like" or what the customer wants. In most cases, I did the work that I wanted, and took orders for a limit (from 250 to 2 pieces), depending on the complexity of the repetition. Dad helped me a lot in setting up the company and supported me financially. I can't say anything about patrons and state orders, except that contracts often put the artist in a dependent position, and this does not help creativity. As for the transfer of experience - I give lectures, we conduct master classes with my friend and colleague Maya Yudina. But I do not teach how to do it, I try to teach those who are interested in how an image is formed, how to work with shape, color, texture, composition of costume history and material culture.
Puppets often come from the theater ... And we can see samples of the high art of puppets performed by stage professionals. How did your experience in the theater help in choosing the next profession - a figurative sculpture artist (it is difficult to call your works “puppets”) ?! Do you need academic knowledge to be recognized by colleagues, connoisseurs and fans, or does it not save you from mistakes and failures?
He who does not know how to read, not only will not write a book, but also will not be able to read all the great things that have already been written before him. Education is absolutely essential. But the thirst for knowledge, constant movement, the feeling that you do not know how to do anything is also important ... it is a great success to meet a TEACHER on this path, who will guide the movement and point out mistakes, criticize. There were several such people in my life and I am infinitely grateful to them. Shilov was recognized and loved by the general public, although he is nothing in art. Van Gogh did not sell a single canvas during his lifetime, but this does not detract from his genius. Schnittke's music is highly regarded by professionals, and pop stars are listened to by millions. But this is not an indicator of the quality of a work of art. Honest assessment of professionals has always been important to me.
They often say: "Don't make yourself an idol ..." However, it is no secret that many try to imitate you in the hope of trying on the success and lifestyle of the master. Fans and fans alike equate the beauty and perfection of your dolls with your real life. What would you say to those who see only one side of the profession - brilliance, fame, wealth? And what is the other side hiding ?!
Do not make yourself an idol, ... The second commandment Given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. It's just about not worshiping pseudo-gods. They have been trying to copy my dolls as long as I can remember. But not only mine. They copy everything that they like, what is successful, what is bought. It seems to me that it has nothing to do with idolatry. Rather, it is the lack of their own ideas, the desire for money and fame. In childhood, they were not told that it is not good to steal.
Art is not related to external, but internal life. But it cannot be copied. I was always just moving forward, trying new things. This is the only way to live interestingly and somehow escape from self-repetition.
Perhaps those who know you well will say differently, but for the general public you are a “lonely” artist, a self-sufficient, private creator. Is it so?! And if this is not the case, then do you plan to participate in collective exhibition projects as an organizer or performer (following the example of Lyubov Lukyanchuk or the Ural Association of Artists of Svetlana Rezanova)?
I have never been a loner artist. Since 1989, I had a company "Alexandra", which, at different times, employed 10 to 200 people. I was greatly helped by my education, which includes skills in theater workshop management and manufacturing economics. The company had a design and production part. My task was to create an image, as the costume designers do in the theater, a sketch, a tattoo, a choice of fabric. Technological developments were made with the design part of the company, which were already transferred to production, in fact, these were more artistic workshops. And so for 30 years. I have always worked together with fashion designers, sculptors, shoemakers and ceramists, jewelers. I have ideas with projects, but so far these are only ideas.
"Fighting difficulties brings people together!" Are these your words? Do you think it's as easy to solve problems with young people of the “Instagram generation” as with the old “guard”? Or is there an era of total indifference, when the troubles and problems of another person do not touch anyone?
The world is changing all the time and each next generation has to look for new forms of existence. But people don't change much. There have always been and are now emerging unions of people keen on one common interest, and within these unions there is always mutual assistance, a desire to achieve a common result. After all, theaters, orchestras are alive, films are being made, medicine is developing. Solving complex problems always requires a union of professionals from different specialties.
In general, the world is becoming more humane. In my opinion.
IN XIX in. The Pre-Raphaelites worked under the slogan "Art for the sake of art." This slogan was sung by Sergei Diaghilev, creating a large-scale project "Russian Seasons" at the beginning XX century. We know that the aesthetics of the "Silver Age" are close to you. What values do you promote in your works? Is there a manifesto by Alexandra Kukinova that you are bringing to the world?
It seems to me that the slogan "Art for the sake of art" arose as a protest against bad taste and puritanical moralizing and romanticizing in art in the first third of the 19th century. And I'm just in love with the costume. And if we proceed from the fact that “Art is a way of knowing the world”, then I am constantly engaged in such knowledge of the narrow (in fact, boundless) area of material culture - the costume. They are greeted by clothes - this means a suit, it is always a message to others. Who are you, what you are, what you want and what social class you belong to, wealth, religious views. And also nationality, place of residence, profession, etc. A costume is also a message about the era, about the aesthetic and social ideas of society. And then there is the play of shapes, language and symbolism of color, the beauty of a silhouette, a combination of textures, a world of details and ornaments. This is probably my manifesto.
Questions prepared by Irina Panfilenok