Ricardo Nicolayevsky

29 Noviembre de 2017 - 01 Abril de 2018

Espacio de exhibición: Cubo, Galería

Curaduría: Michele Fiedler

Ricardo Nicolayevsky: in and out of frame, includes works made by the Mexican artist, musician, filmmaker, and writer since the 1980s to the present, making an emphasis on his video and experimental cinema pieces. The exhibition begins its lineal course with a group of animations and videos in which Nicolayevsky experiments directly on the surface of the film strip, and continues with a series of visual essays which include portraits of New York City, made between 1982 and 1982, that show an aesthetic rooted in postpunk with stylistic elements of early twentieth century photography and surrealism.


The Lost Portraits series, 1982-1985, brings together tens of short films that, through a dreamlike visual language captures, in an affective and non-narrative way, moving images that eternalize the moment of youth of his friends in the art and music scenes of Mexico City and New York. Nicolayevsky sees his use of the camera as if it was a pencil or a brush, and compares his filmic process to that of automatic writing or painting.

Filmed throughout four years, the videos show celebrations under different states of consciousness altered by hallucinogens, pharmacy drugs, or opiates and they move about between the public and intimate; they include transveted characters, rituals, multiple nudes and erotic acts. This bohemian group, named by Nicolayevsky as a ‘lost generation’ for not following normative societal rules and standards, their drug use, or for not surviving the HIV epidemic, was documented by the artist and is an important representation of LGBTTQ bodies in experimental Mexican cinema. The portraits also show the participation of this community in the musical scene of the time, in which Nicolayevsky was active, through bands like Size and Casino Shanghai.


In 1985 Nicolayevsky locked up all the films he had made and didn’t take them out again until 1999, year in which he musicalized the whole production in order for it to be shown in cinema. They include music scores made by Nicolayevsky with his band Silent Opera, collaborations with singer Regina Orozco, and pieces in prepared piano.


In 1999, Nicolayevsky started filming again a series of new portraits which many times refer to art or cinema itself, documenting conversations with or portrait of curators, academics, artists, cabaret actors and actresses, and filmmakers.

Mexican Cinema for Dummies (1998, 15:15 mins) is part of a series of films made from appropriated material. The video consists of fragments of Mexican movies from the seventies and eighties that show some of the absurd and pathetic stereotypes created by the Mexican film industry for both local consumption and export. We see thirteen vignettes: Adam and Eve; The good, the bad, and the ugly; The gringa, The Ogre; Go-go girl; Vampira; The body of the cat; The funny homosexual; Red riding Hood; The boy eater; Jesus; and Vedette Sasha Montenegro.


Filmed in an apartment in Paris during 19 days, La vie priveé d’un artiste inconnu d’antan (2005, 17:05 mins), shows Nicolayevsky acting as a forgotten artist, who in his secluded delirium makes an autobiographic drawing that documents the passing of days, a sort of calendar that is also a map that depicts the different Parisian quarters. The installation of drawings and sculptures presented in this room have been produced over the last four years and show some of the recurring themes in the rest of the exhibition like eroticisim, humor, and literary work.


  • Michele Fiedler, Curator