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Ilya Dolgov

Born in 1986 in Voronezh, Russia
Lives in Voronezh

Augustine's Engram. Installation view: Х.Л.А.М. Gallery, Voronezh. Courtesy of the artist

This work is a materialized sentence from St. Augustine’s Confessions: "Ego sum, qui memini, ego animus" ("It is I myself who remembers, I, the soul"). A 400-meter long electric wire, through numerous curls, takes the shape of these words. It is alive, but the current doesn't do any useful work. This is a radical materialization of memory mechanisms. One of the most important mechanisms is the recirculation of an electrical impulse, which creates a lasting trace — an “engram”. It is this process that is simulated here, reducing everything personal: subjective history, memory, and the feeling of one's own continuity, to simple structural changes in our nervous system and nothing more. Contrary to the reductionism of neuroscience, St. Augustine declared the inner, inviolable intimate space of the individual Self for Western civilization. The journey of Augustine's soul ends in the Engram: his claim that being his own memory, after having become part of a collective entity, is a returning to singularity and reality. But it is happening in a world that can’t distinguish the spiritual from the corporal — not because its capability for forming categories are underdeveloped, but because the qualitative differences between those once distinct spheres of existence have long disappeared.

Ilya Dolgov

July 2, 2014

On June 24 and 25, 4th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art began. 3069 applications by artists under 35 from 84 countries of the world were submitted for the competition, which lasted from November 2013 through March 2014. David Elliott, Artistic Director of the Biennale, proposed the motto A Time for Dreams as the general theme, and curated the main Biennale project, which presented works by 83 artists from 32 countries of the world.

June 17, 2014

The educational program of the Biennale, curated by Antonio Geusa and coordinated by Ekaterina Razdumina, is entitled Wise Advice, and aims at helping young artists to find answers to various questions that concern their creative growth and career development.