THE TULIPS ARE TOO EXCITABLE – IT’S WINTER HERE
(Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Nikita Seleznev enjoys observing how different cultures accrete within architectural ensembles. The most superfluous and ramshackle of buildings, ones that have survived by mere accident, show us how culture changes.
The Ivan Gaza House of Culture’s Constructivist foundation was later embellished with Socialist Realist bas-reliefs. In the late Soviet period, the House of Culture was associated with the underground art scene. In the 2000s, loud advertisements covered the building. By the late 2010s, red shipping containers sprung up around the building as it strove to become an art-world hotspot. All these things are now part of the Ivan Gaza Palace of Culture and Technology; we can see all these layers today.
The Gaza House of Culture’s fate does not appear tragic: it is sad, sorry, and, in many ways, typical. It is the story of this building – tired, clumsily fighting to survive, covered by signs of bygone times – on which Seleznev’s piece for Art Prospect, The tulips are too excitable – it’s winter here, is based.
Nikita Seleznev studied at the St. Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design, specializing in sculpture, which is his main sphere of interest. He works with traditional sculptural media as well as found objects. His installations combine sculpture with video, sound, and objects made by hand or with the aid of a 3D printer.