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Recycle Group

© 2013 The Recycle Group

Black Friday, 2013

Plastic mesh
91 1/4 x 190 1/4 x 8 inches (231.8 x 483.2 x 20.3 cm)
Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2013

Winners of the 2010 Kandinsky Prize in the category “Young Artist: Project of the Year,” Andrey Blokhin (Russian, born 1987) and Georgiy Kuznetsov (Russian, born 1985) comprise the Moscow-based contemporary art collective Recycle Group. As their moniker suggests, a great deal of the art created by Recycle Group involves recycling. Using objects such as plastic bags, wires, worn car tires, garbage cans, and other assorted manufactured materials, Blokhin and Kuznetsov reference the permanence of classical art using impermanent materials, while emphasizing the power of non-biodegradable objects as the way through which our civilization will be remembered.

Black Friday, 2013, reminiscent of a marble frieze but completely constructed from plastic mesh, deconstructs the dichotomy between classical architecture and contemporary recycled and non-permanent materials. The sculpture resembles a classical composition with seven figures dressed in ancient Greek attire scrambling to gather bottles and boxes off shelves into shopping carts and baskets. The subject of the work, Black Friday, is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States—a day of significant store discounts, extended store hours, long lines, frenzied mindless materialism, and often customer violence. With irony at the forefront, Black Friday transforms the typically negative associations of the consumer event into a white pristine tableau by combining opposing subjects: classical with contemporary, traditional with modern consumerism.