Curriculum Vitae

IGOR SACHAROW-ROSS

1947

*Born in Chabarowsk, east Siberia, USSR.

1964-70 

Studies in History of Art, Applied Arts and Pedagogy at the University of Chabarowsk

1970-1971

Lecturer at the State University of Chabarowsk

1971

Move to Leningrad/St.Petersburg. Joins the nonconformist art scene and begins staging first-ever underground actions and performances in the country

1973-1975

Teacher at the Strelna School of Art for Youth, Leningrad

1975

Occupational ban from lecturing

1978

Expatriation from the USSR

1979

Political Asylum in Western Germany

1983

Receives German citizenship

1993

First exhibitions in Russia after 15 years of exile

Since 1994

Long-term cooperations with Human Science Center (HWZ) at the University of Munich, Kaliningrad State University, Udmurt State University,  Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design among others

2008-2013

Professor at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Duisburg-Essen

Since 2011

Visiting professor at the University of Siegen

Lives and works in Cologne, Germany  


Sacharow-Ross was born in the Russian Far East and, as a member of the nonconformist art scene, was subject to political persecution in the 1970s. He staged the first actions and performances in the former USSR in 1975, ultimately leading to his deportation in 1978. His early engagement with the concept of nature was prompted by his growing up in the Siberian taiga. He conceives of nature as a field of both destructive and beneficent primeval forces. In the 1980s, Sacharow- Ross began working with molecular structures, such as cancer cells and leaf forms. The artist already at that point sought to combine natural science with conside- rations from the humanities.

The œuvre of Igor Sacharow-Ross, grown over the last 40 years, defies common classifications. In a retros- pective portrayal, one discovers the specific quality of his work, having never committed himself to a certain style or medium. Drawings, photographies, paintings, sculpture as well as print, videos, installations and resonance bodies are thus equally used by him and condensed in spatial collages.

However, with all divergency of styles and means there are constant aspects in the artistic work. In general it is about determining the coordinates of humanity, or how Igor Sacharow-Ross himself calls it: it is about developing »batteries of empathy«. In a great number of experimental series spectators are confronted with questions like »Who are we as Europeans actually? On which lines of life are we situated?«

For decades he is continuously considering the open wounds of the history that is called Europe: the day-to- day violence and torture, the misery of refugees, of the banished and the expelled as well as the destruction of the environment. All these historical motions and flight movements are condensed and symbolically trans- formed in his work. The effort to trigger »processes of reconstruction in man’s memory« is an essential momentum of his occupation with the entanglements of the all-European history.

A further constant quality of his artistic work is the concept of syntopia, that aims at a participation of the audience. Igor Sacharow-Ross pursues the interdiscli- pinary connection of the arts and sciences on the one hand and of society and politics on the other hand by means of exhibitions and events, which always have the spectators as social agents in their center. They are the ones to establish new inter-connections, for example during the project »Sapiens/Sapiens« (Palais de Nations, Geneva and Simultanhalle of Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2000ff.) as well as with the Syntopia- sculpture »Der Zaun« (»The fence«) in the context of the Bundesgartenschau, Potsdam (2001). Existential experiences of being-in-danger and pain are always inscribed into these works of art, as for example in the exhibition of »Trauma Natalis« in the National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2005).

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