MAIASP. 2020. No. 12

A.N. Balash (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Poetics of Myth in Contemporary Academic Fine Arts: graphic works by Khamid Savkuev for Vasily Livanovs NOVEL Agnia, daughter of Agnia. The Legend of the Scythians

DOI: 10.24411/2713-2021-2020-00031 

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Pages: 10171035

This article examines the question of the reinterpretation of mythical images and cultural artifacts of archaic cultures in contemporary fine art practices. This issue is considered on the example of illustrations made for the reprint of Vasily Livanov's story Agnia, daughter of Agnia. The Legend of Scythians (2011) by one of the leading artists of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts Khamid Savkuev. In this case, the artists wok on the illustrations was not so much a visualization of the literary text, but an attempt to study visually the relationship between the artistic traditions of the Ancient East, the Scythian world and the culture of the North Caucasus presented in the Nart Epos. It is important that the graphic works of Khamid Savkuev are not a reconstruction, but a reinterpretation of the mythopoetic system of ancient art. This reinterpretation becomes the basis of the authors unique artistic experience. The concept of the World Tree, the image of the serpentine goddess (Rankenfrau), the status of sacred and fateful artifacts in these book illustrations are placed in a modern cultural context, contribute to the revitalization and enrichment of contemporary academic fine arts. It also shows how artifacts from the Scythian collection of the State Hermitage museum (Saint Petersburg) are included in the creative process and reveal their authentic meanings in the visual thinking of the artist. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of expressive means, which made it possible to create an epic space within the framework of modern book illustration.

Key words: Scythians, contemporary academic fine arts, poetics of myth, cultural context, cultural artifact, reinterpretation, book graphics, book illustration, Khamid Savkuev.

Received November 29, 2020

Accepted for publication December 11, 2020

About the author:

Balash Aleksandra Nikolaevna (Saint Petersburg, Russia). Dr. habil. (Cultural Studies), Associate Professor, Saint Petersburg State Institute of Culture