In 2011 I created a fictional artistic movement dedicated exclusively to sandwiches, we held our first “biennale” in Moscow’s Roza Azora gallery as part of the 4th Moscow Biennale parallel programme. I adopted the alter ego of Ariadna Buterbrodt as the movement’s leader; many of my favourite Russian contemporary artists were involved.
The Sandwich – a universal entity, like art, is a harmonious synthesis of disparate components coming together to form a whole that far surpasses its constituent elements. Bread – canvas, butter – oil – alone they are but themselves, together they create something magnificent – this is alchemy! However, despite the universal nature of the sandwich itself, we find this subject being interpreted very diversely in different cultures. Most prominently perhaps, the second slice of bread which differentiates the western “sandwich” from the eastern “butterbrod” stands between the hemispheres as a metaphorical iron curtain. And henceforth another predicament – Murphy’s law. Here the butterbrod, or toast (depending on which camp you belong to) becomes a universal symbol of entropy demonstrated on a domestic scale, or is it just an expression of human pessimism?
All these issues, and many besides will be discussed by the artists of the Sandwich Artists Union. Coming together in a group show for the first time, these artists have long been concerned with the cultural place of the sandwich in today’s society, as well as it’s historical value. We feel that despite its omnipresence in everyday life, the sandwich has been neglected by contemporary culture. We aim to finally dispel any taboos and bring this worthy topic to light in cultural discourse as it truly deserves.
The Comissar of the first Moscow Biennale of Sandwich Art
“The First Almanach of Sandwichism”
Zine exhibition catalogue printed on a risograph, in Russian
Whacky Russian news reports of the show: