Kon Trubkovich   
Ant Farm, 2007, video

Born 1979 in Moscow (Russia)
Lives and works in New York City (USA)

Dreamlike film sequences, distorted oil paintings and curious sculptures characterize the multimedia work of Kon Trubkovich. The unpacks a multifaceted visual language in which he draws on the element of repetition on multiple levels at the same time. In his videos, the same actions and images are repeated over and over again to create a scene that describes an endless state from which there appears to be no escape. He picks up the motifs and colours of his film works in his sculptures and pictures as well, stylizing them to create elements that can be interpreted in diverse ways, such as the prison motif and the orange-coloured overalls that are the conventional prisoner’s garb in the USA. Trubkovich’s videos are created by playing VHS tapes, filming them, replaying the filmed material and filming that in turn. They are like memories that return again and again, yet gradually become blurred, and distorted, and superimposed on each other, transforming into scenes far removed from the original.

For his oil paintings and watercolours, Trubkovich uses selected stills as a template. Through repetition and creating stills of the film sequences, new details become visible while other aspects fall out of focus and illuminate the hidden stories behind the story. In his videos, paintings and sculptures, the artist – who spent his early childhood in Russia before moving to the USA with his family at the age of 11 – repeatedly returns to prison situations and breakout scenes, thereby confronting his own memories of captivity and emigration. Yet his own biography is by no means in the foreground of his work; rather, Kon Trubkovich invokes images from the collective consciousness and points to societal experiences and patterns. Trubkovich does not categorise his works as explicitly political art. Rather, he illuminates a level on which political events intervene into personal life and force the individual into certain patterns of behaviour.

Text: Mirka Gewinner