Allegoria Sacra








Third part of The Liminal Space Trilogy


HD video installation (5-, 3-, and 1-channel versions), series of pictures, series of stills.



“PINO PASCALI AWARD 2015”, Foundation Pino Pascali, Italy.

“NORDART FESTIVAL 2014”, Main Award, Germany.

“KANDINSKY PRIZE 2012”, Main Award – Project of the Year, Russia.





Digital Collages


1-channel Stills
Special 1-channel Stills
3-channel Stills


Giovanni Bellini’s Allegoria Sacra (Sacred Allegory) hangs in the Uffizi in Florence. The subject of this painting is a mystery to art historians. The earliest figures of Christian and ancient mythology are gathered together on a balustrade by a sea or a wide river, surrounded by hills on which can be seen, in the distance, village huts and a palazzo. St. Sebastian, the Madonna, a centaur, small children playing by a tree in the center, a Saracen-Muslim, a man somewhat like the Apostle Paul with a sword in his hand, in the background a peasant with a mule, two beautiful ladies one of whom is St. Catherine, a naked old man reminiscent of Job – this is a far from a complete list of the heroes who Bellini brought together in this picture.

One interpretation of this painting is that it showed Purgatory, where the souls of the righteous, of virtuous pagans and of unchristened children await their fate – heaven or hell.

This painting has always intrigued us. When we started to think of a third project after Last Riot and The Feast of Trimalchio, shown at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009 respectively, we decided that the mysterious image of the Allegoria Sacra was in keeping with our view of the modern world.

We see Bellini’s heroes in those passengers who meet accidentally while awaiting their flights at international airports. The feelings of being cut off from one’s life and of the as yet unachieved aim of traveling from one world to another are familiar to the majority of those who fly, whether with large or small airlines. We become part of a special club of people who are united by the condition of a body and soul located between the abandoned and the not yet found. Together, i.e. simultaneously, we listen to the flight announcements, watch the flight board with its changing tableau of figures and cities, try to focus on the newspaper, on an SMS or the internet, or simply on the advertisements on the airport monitors. But everyone is wrapped up in himself and it is this, which unites us. There is, perhaps, one more thing we have available and which somehow links us during this interval in time – we look at each other, having never seen one other before and being unlikely to do so again.

The airport is Purgatory. Only there does one understand that the knowledge of one’s ‘tomorrow’ is a total illusion. We imagine the airport as a space where reality transforms itself – it gets covered with snow, which alters the interior and then melts, the runway turns in to the river Styx as in Bellini’s painting, airplanes become ancient, mystic craft. The lightboxes in Duty Free live a life of their own, showing pictures of heaven. In our new project, Allegoria Sacra, we wish to retain Bellini’s metaphorical heroes using the image of modern-day people from various countries and cultures. At the same time we believe that the airport space can include such mythological personalities as the centaur, who we imagine in his literal embodiment. Or the Indian elephant-god Ganesha, with the features of a coffee machine. Even the various companies’ planes may take on the image of ancient gods like the eastern dragon.

The allegorical heroes of the painting can be seen in those awaiting their flights. The Saracen turns in to a group of transit passengers from Darfur or Peshawar. Sebastian is a young traveler from the exotic countries of the south, naked to the waist and barefoot, having not yet changed his shorts for jeans. Job is represented as an elderly patient being transported on a hi-tech stretcher and covered with tubes, indicators and monitors, who becomes younger before our very eyes and turns in to a magical mutant-baby. A policeman of Biblical appearance carries a sword alongside the more traditional equipment, like Paul. The stewardesses, angels from a new heaven, appear on fantastic flying machines like the cabin crew in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and start to serve passengers.

The film follows in part the reality of airport life. As well as experiencing the usual crowds of passengers we witness the location and destruction of an unidentified piece of luggage, a fight between migrants, the emergency services helping a patient. Alongside everyday reality we see a whole range of mystical transformations of this world, from a jungle with exotic tribes to an underwater kingdom, then to a snow field which melts to form the river Styx, flowing to the horizon in to an endless sea in the direction which the passengers will eventually fly, their planes becoming mystical craft...


Solo Exhibitions (and as part of Liminal Space Trilogy)


“AES+F: TRILOGY PLUS”, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels Belgium.

“001 INVERSO MUNDUS. AES+F”, Collateral event of 56th Biennale di Venezia, Magazzini del Sale, Magazzino 5 & Vitraria Glass +Art Museum, Venice, Italy.

“THE LIMINAL SPACE TRILOGY. Parts 2 & 3”, Platform Russia, MAMM, Art Stage Singapore, Singapore.

“ALLEGORIA SACRA”, public screening in Port Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


“AES+F. THE LIMINAL SPACE TRILOGY”, Musée des Beaux-Arts de La Chaux-de-Fonds, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.


“AES+F: ALLEGORIA SACRA”, Art Statements Gallery Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

“AES+F. THE FEAST OF TRIMALCHIO” in frames of exhibition project “HAPPY END?”, Tennis Palace Museum, Helsinki, Finland.

“AES+F. THE TRILOGY”, featuring artists of Fresh Paint Art Fair, Tel Aviv, Israel.

“THE LIMINAL SPACE TRILOGY”, project room on Fresh Paint Art Fair, Tel Aviv, Israel.

“AES+F. ALLEGORIA SACRA”, “Pride” Wellness Club, Moscow Region, Russia

“AES+F. THE LIMINAL SPACE TRILOGY”, Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“AES+F. TRILOGY. FINAL CUT”, Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

“ALLEGORIA SACRA. AES+F” The Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia.


“AES+F. THE TRILOGY”, Kicik Qalart Gallery, Baku, Azerbaijan.

“AES+F. THE TRILOGY”, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany.

“AES+F. THE TRILOGY”, Central Exhibition Hall Manege, Moscow, Russia.

“AES+F – GUEST OF HONOR” Seoul Photo Art Fair, Seoul. South Korea.

“AES+F. ALLEGORIA SACRA”, Sergey Kuryokhin Modern Art Center, St-Petersburg, Russia

“ALLEGORIA SACRA”, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia


“AES+F. ALLEGORIA SACRA”, Triumph Gallery, Moscow.

“AES+F. ALLEGORIA SACRA. PICTURES”. “Art Moscow 2011” Art Fair, Central House of Artist, Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

“AES+F. ALLEGORIA SACRA”, a special project of 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia.


Group Exhibitions


“SCREEN PLAY: LIFE IN AN ANIMATED WORLD”, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (NY), USA.

“AES+F”, Triumph Gallery at SCOPE Basel art fair, Basel, Switzerland.



“CREATIVE ZONE – “BAROQUE”: VISUAL AND HYBRID ART”, ArtCult & Gera Museum, Vrsac, Serbia.

“THE ROAD TO ELYSIUM”, Heist Gallery, London, UK.

“NORDART 2014”, Country focus 2014: Russian Pavilion, Kunstwerk Carlshütte, Büdelsdorf, Germany.

“GLASS +A”, Vitraria Glass +A Museum, Venice, Italy.

“NUIT DES IMAGES 2014”, Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland.


“TRANSITION”, Art Statements Gallery, Hong Kong.

“TILT!” Kunst Raum Riehen, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland.


“MONUMENTAL!”, Art Statements Gallery, Hong Kong.

“SILK MAP”, Padiglione Venezia at 55th Biennale of Venice Art Exhibition, Giardini, Venice, Italy.

“MEDITERRANIEN BIENNALE 2013”, Sachnin, Israel.

“NOTHING TO DECLARE? – WORLD MAPS OF ART SINCE 89”, Academy of Arts, Berlin, Germany.


“KANDINSKY PRIZE 2012”, “Udarnik” Cinema Theater, Moscow, Russia.


“”, RH Gallery, New York, United States.

“HISTORY IS MINE!” (“L’Histoire est à moi!”), 22nd edition of “du Printemps de Septembre-à Toulouse”, Toulouse, France.

“MUSEUM. THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S VIEW”, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (GMII), Moscow, Russia.

“ARSENALE 2012” The 1st Kiev Biennale, Mistetsky Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine.

“SERGEY KURYOKHIN ART AWARD”, Sergey Kuryokhin Modern Art Center, St-Petersburg, Russia.

“THE SOUND OPTIC”, NCCA and “Gallery” Exhibition Center, Izhevsk, Russia.

“MEGACOOL 4.0” – Jugend und Kunst, Kunsthaus, Vienna, Austria.

“MOVING IMAGE CONTEMPORARY VIDEO ART FAIR 2012”, Anna Schwartz Gallery (Melbourne, Sydney), Waterfront NY Tunnel, New York, United States.

“ART WYNWOOD ART FAIR”, Juan Ruiz Gallery, Miami, United States.

“ARCO”, Triumph Gallery (Moscow), Madrid, Spain.


“ART MIAMI 2011”, Juan Ruiz Gallery, Miami, United States.

“BEHOLDER”, Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh – Old College, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

“A WAKE: STILL LIVES AND MOVING IMAGES” Momentum / Kunstlerhaus Betanien, Berlin, Germany

“inSPIRACJE”. International Festival of Visual Arts, Szczecin, Poland.

“COMMERCIAL BREAK”, Garage Projects, POST magazine, Digital mobile display, Venice, Italy.

“FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE”, City of Pietrasanta, Foundation for visual Arts, Palazzo Panichi, Complex Sant Agostino, Italy.

“RUSSIAN ART”, SEM-ART Gallery, Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

“HEROINES”, Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain.

“SCOPE NEW YORK Art Fair”, Juan Ruiz Gallery, New York, United States.

“ARMORY SHOW 2011”, Anna Schwartz Gallery (Melbourne, Sydney), Pier 94, New York, United States.

MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Hobard, Tasmania, Australia.

VIP ART FAIR. Anna Schwartz Gallery (Sydney-Melbourne), New York, USA.