Haim Sokol: It’s not even death, but a transformation that tricks death

Russian Art Focus met with Haim Sokol, a Moscow-based multimedia artist whose practice includes painting, drawing, video, installation and performance. He was born in the city of Arkhangelsk in 1973, and graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (in Hebrew linguistics and Jewish literature) and the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art (2006-2007). He has had solo exhibitions in Moscow, Perm and Jerusalem, and was included in group exhibitions across Russia, Israel, the United States, Latvia, and Greece.

Sokol’s work focusses on history and he finds his inspiration in the dramatic events of the 20th century, looking at themes such as time, oblivion, transformation and migration. In one of his projects “Spartacus. Times New Roman” in which he hired real migrants to act as performers, he combined elements drawn from ancient Roman history, the Russian revolution and Jewish dispersion.

Sokol talks about how painting and graphic art can be for him a bodily practice, how he can feel the past experiences of his ancestors as though they are his own, how tragedy can become something playful if painted in pink and why snow can be the best monument.

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