Alexei Kallima

The Artist and his Works

Alexei Kallima was born in 1969 in Chechnya and today lives and works in Moscow.

“You are looking at us. We are looking at you”

Graduate from the Krasdonar University in Russia, Alexei Kallima went into exile to Moscow during the first Chechan war in (1994-1995). In 2001 he created a non-profit art gallery “France” which he managed until 2007. He invited many artists to exhibit and thus maintained this form of activism so obvious in his wall pictures where the Chechen war is omnipresent. Since 2000, Alexei Kallima has been exhibiting regularly in international projects in Berlin, Paris and New York.

Within the framework of his residence at the MAC/VAL, Alexei Kallima pursues his preferred ephemeral wall-painting. The non-profit aspect of art is one of his major motivations. It’s also within this mindset that he recovers and places numerous waste and disposable objects on his installations. In Vitry-sur-Seine, he’s chosen to paint on the walls of tourist information and security officers’ walls. Isolated people whom the visitor perceive in random angles of the museum, around the corner from a collection installation. What interests him here is not only to present a museum worker, like himself in being part of the MAC/VAL team during his residence, but also to point out this discrete and daily activity which is noticed without being seen. These trompe-l’oeil are similar to witnesses or third-parties in these looker-at and looked-at situations.