Roman Mokrov is a young but already quite successful and well-known contemporary artist. He photographs and makes video-art. Simultaneously he works in real-estate agency and photographs premium apartments. Roman suggested setting our meeting in unusual place – in the canteen of old building of Kursk Station.
It is both a method and content. It’s a view trained in a special way. It is not a result by itself to show some absurdity, my view is just focusing so. I have taught myself to see so. Partly because I can’t live without irony and take everything seriously. I see at the angle. I turn out to be a “jolly cynic”. I see any situation from the outside.
No, it is empathy. For example, how many epochs are here (the canteens of Kursk Station)? Nikolay’s station is covered by soviet station, domes are painted in gold above, and that’s 90th. The diner at the imperial station seems to me to be brilliant.
Life is like a journey. Till death.
I am interested in universal values such as Love, Death, and Competition by the example of where I am. So in Milan I would find friends too, from homeless most likely.
And how do you think? Of course, I don’t invite special elderly lady with a kerchief to a church, I just cannot stage in this way. Five years ago I made a picture of the elderly lady, and this Sunday I saw the same kerchief in the church, it is unique, I am sure. It won’t be mess up, its pattern; I think there are not many of them in the city. But this time I saw a little girl who came in the kerchief.
What is documentary?
Reality is not enough for me, so I need something to imagine.
“Hide newborn fire in palm”
There is no participation, I am present everywhere. I am not detached from the subjects. If I’ve come here with you, I am in the thick of things. How can I be detached?
What’s the difference? I’m an artist, I don’t care. I use photography as raw, I don’t see the difference, and essence is primary. Digital photography is just more expensive.
Everything that artist does is a work of art. I’m joking of course. For me everything that exhibited in museum or declared as a work of art is a work of art.
Yes, it is. But I was taught in this way. Everything that declared as a work of art is called a work of art, everything that exhibited in museum is a work of art.
I don’t count on any reaction. There are different people. Who does artist work for?
I don’t count on at all, I just pursue art. And if we want to explain art to mass of people we need educational programmes from a young age.
Just in contemporary? If not, for example, I don’t understand why modern students of art paint still life. I understand everything that happens in contemporary art. Another question if I like it or not.
I don’t work with urban space. I feel tightness and stuffiness, and what I see is not enough. In my case, for example, I was born here, in the place without a sea. What I can? I can go to the sea. I do like bathing. I can imagine the sea too. But then I would like to bath in it. So I would suffer here without it and would imagine it within some project. The same way the project with stations can show parallel reality. Development of our country went by special direction (there are cities like Kirov and Dzerzhinsk). Could you imagine if everything would be in a different way, another flags and standards, stations “Red Sartre” and “Nietzsche-commodity”? I think we can just test it, and suggest such Utopia.
I think they are MMOMA, GARAGE, MediaArtLab. Triumf makes cool things.
Street impacted on me. (laughing)
The world around inspires me. Bukowski motivated me; he is very consonant with my creative work. I was delighted with Alexander Dvorkin’s “Sectology”. Now I am collecting booklets of different sects, scientologists and others. I like quotation of Italian curator Francesco Bonami “The art is for those (and mainly for those) who don’t have money, but who can dream – and nothing else is needed”.
Such a question drives me to a nonplus. I wish I got married and had the child earlier. I feel sorry that I haven’t travelled to India for long period. I’m not very regretful. I regret that I am sinner. (laughing)
I faced negative critics when I was opening the exhibition devoted to marriage rituals. But I wasn’t upset about such themes, I like any stir.
Since 2008 I have been collecting ballads, songs that touch my soul. At the moment there are 1067 of them.
List of some affecting artists (arranged by Roman): Santiago Sierra, Martin Kippenberger, Edward Hopper, Sophie Calle, Anri Sala, Ron Mueck, Nan Goldin, Timur Novikov, Sergey Bratkov.