FREEWORDS is the first exhibition where the work of Olga and Oleg Tatarintsev is shown in France. The artists, born respectively in Ukraine and Azerbaijan and who reside today in Moscow, are already well established on the Russian art scene. Here are two individuals who artfully complement each other and respond to each other, using a wide variety of media including painting, graphics, ceramics and installations. They question in a singular manner the evolution of freedom of thought – and perhaps even of soul – in present times, glancing perhaps to our future. Here is a work, here are lives, where the political, ethical, and metaphysical dimensions intertwine inextricably.

Olga Tatarintsev, And at That Time Shadows Worked, mixed media on paper, 40×60 cm (detail)

If cubism was the first to deconstruct visible form with a view to rebuilding objects on the basis of the formal categories of the mind, Russian constructivism exacerbated this feature so as to give form to a conceptual narrative related to social reconstruction. The work of Olga and Oleg Tatarintsev manifests this inheritance. The exhibition presents a new step, centred on the dialectic of freedom and confinement.

Olga &Oleg Tatarintsev, No title, installation view, 2018, porcelain, metal, paper, curtesy of the artists

Taking stock of the writings of Russian writers who suffered imprisonment in tsarist times, such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, or during the Soviet regime, such as Ossip Mandelstam or Joseph Brodsky, or more recently such as Kirill Serebrennikov, the film and theatre director, the artists are reflecting both on the experience of captivity as the condition of an authentic liberation or emancipation of man, and on the means to escape from the jails built by concepts, by the categories of language.