30.6. – 3.9.2023
Lazar Lyutakov often appropriates everyday objects from our modern mass culture and simple industrial products in an effort to chart the various trajectories of their manufacture and distribution. His works scrutinize the prerequisites and mechanisms of commerce, including the associated politics of value production, and the interfaces between commodity and art. His practice is characterized by his insistent and wide-ranging study of the history of design and the technical aspects of presentation.
The installation Way of the Sand, for example, which Lyutakov created for the Bulgarian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019, is based on cheap beer mugs that are handmade in Vietnam out of recycled discarded and broken glass and using a simple glassblowing technique. He presents the unique pieces on a modular structure made out of acrylic glass that is likewise fractured, its materiality reflecting the manufacturing process of the beer glasses and contemporary marketing strategies. Toying with the manifold ambiguities between standardized mass merchandise and upmarket object of desire, between disposable article and sculptural object, Lyutakov interrogates the imbalances of a globalized market as well as the commodity character of works of art.
In The Incarnation of Empty Events (2021), he addresses these questions from a similar angle, this time by turning his attention to an industrial waste product. The artist selects those metal hoods—actually designed as components for water heaters—that show defects because they buckled under the pressure that is necessarily involved in their manufacture. Lavishly and individually packaged like premium accessories or hats, the cardboard boxes arranged in stacks, these rejects undergo a significant upward revaluation. To mark the critical distance he maintains from such stratagems, Lyutakov deftly brings out the precarious instant at which the sublime appears to collapse into farce.
geboren 1977 in Shabla, Bulgarien, lebt und arbeitet in Wien.