“Without an encounter with the unknown, creativity is impossible. In this encounter, there is no possibility for understanding anything, neither in terms of culture nor psychology. This is no dead end. Quite on the contrary: by finding your way out of the dead end, you can attain total freedom. Encounters with the unknown are extremely rare. The unknown is something you need to search out, overcoming the stereotypes of your thinking, the attitudes of your life and the dummies of your emotions. Our (creative) paths need to strike up against the unknown, no matter how thoroughly we build them and no matter which goal we pursue. The edges of my activity are always in some extreme, liminal state. My face is turned toward the unknown, while my masks address that which can be recognized by culture”. Vadim Zakharov
Vadim Zakharov was born in Dushanbe in 1959. He graduated from the Moscow State Teachers Training Institute. He is an artist, editor, archivist of Moscow Conceptual art scene, collector. Since 1978 he has been participating in exhibitions of unofficial art and worked in collaboration with Igor Luts, Victor Skersis (SZ group), Sergey Anufriev and others. In 1982–1983 he was a participant of the AptArt Gallery. Since 1992 he has been the publisher of the Pastor magazine and founder of Pastor Zond Edition. He lives and works in Cologne and in Moscow
Vadim Zakharov’s work is like a labyrinth. It branches out into a multitude of details, so that in the end, the spectator does not feel that he is in a park or an archive, but in a jungle of ideas. At the same time, the ephemeral and irrational quality of many of Zakharov’s pieces and projects is grounded by the archive that he has collected. It includes photo- and video-documentations of exhibitions, encounters, appearances of contemporary artists and poets in the West, and documents of Zakharov’s own multifaceted activities as a publisher.
A short outline of the various operative and productive strategies involved allows us to surmise that the activities of Vadim Zakharov the adventurer circumscribe a field that has become so vast after 25 years of unceasing, intensive work that it is almost impossible to gain any complete overview. Each piece – including installations, actions, videos, objects, as well as the issues of the journal Pastor – are part and parcel of a larger hard-to-define whole whose only constant is a continual process of transformation. The desire for new vantage points and altered axes of perspective can be understood as the central motor for Zakharov’s artistic endeavors. This desire makes itself manifest in numerous actions and journeys. Taking place under a variety of auspices, their common object is the exploration of the unconscious and of metaphysical experience.