The idea for the fragile exhibition arose in the autumn of 2018, when the Russian visual artists Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov visited a small antique shop in Viborg’s pedestrian street. The artists were at this time part of Riddergade AIR, Viborg Kunsthals residency program and spent the time researching and finding inspiration. Through the window of the antique shop, the sisters saw several of the traditional blue and white porcelain figurines standing side by side, here everything was from playing children, animals and mythological creatures. With their characteristic delicate and soft shapes, the small shiny porcelain figures represented a fragile and adventurous tale from the past.
The antique shop could have been the perfect playground for the author HC Andersen, whose sad philosophical tales are often told through creatures who feel unlucky and excluded from the community,Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov say.
The small traditional Danish collectibles and the special atmosphere in the antique shop are the starting point for the extensive artistic visual study that is the basis for the exhibition Fragile . The artist duo creates a complex site-specific installation in the art gallery’s east wing, which mimics the antique shop’s condensed arrangements, and reinforces and enlarges the porcelain figures’ themes. Topics such as identity, affiliation and historical value are put into play.
With the exhibition Fragile , Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov want to challenge and arouse the audience’s desire to discuss European traditions and aesthetics as a means of communication.
About the artist
The twin sisters Maria & Natalia Petschatnikov (b. 1973, Russia) live and work in Berlin as an artist duo in the border field between painting and installation. In their works, they draw inspiration from everyday objects, which are subtly added new perspectives with imagination and humor. The objects are carefully analyzed, painted and prepared, and ordinary objects become extraordinary narratives with new layers of meaning. Their works have roots in a degree in classical painting from the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg. Petersburg, 1991, and it is also educated from i.a. École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1998 and Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1999. They have exhibited in most of Europe and been on several artist residences, including at Viborg Kunsthal.