AROTIN & SERGHEI  – contemporary art research and creation

AROTIN & SERGHEI established their artistic cooperation platform in 1994 with the foundation of the association Arotin Art Edition in Paris. First exhibitions of intermedial paintings at TEFAF Maastricht, Ars Electronica, Espace Muraille Geneva, ARTCURIAL, as well as in Galleries and Art Spaces in Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna. 

The artists developed their interdisciplinary artworks and projects in a growing network of partners from the world of culture and science, with  philosophers and musicians, and in a direct cooperation with leading art institutions such as Ars Electronica, Klangforum WienMuseum in Progress, Ircam – Centre Pompidou Paris, Ruhrtriennale, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Fondation Beyeler Basel, Artcurial Auction House and La Biennale di Venezia.

As European artists representants they participated at the conference The State of Fine Art in European Parliament. Free Space was the title of their conferences at the Luxemburg University 2010. Cooperations with engineers and developers of avant-guarde techniques, as Active Image , Co-Mining, Solar Impulse. 

INFINITE SCREEN is since 2006 an ongoing art project by AROTIN & SERGHEI, that explores the idea of the Infinite which is suggested beyond the visible surface of “everything we see…” – a fundamental questioning of “truth-possibilities”  that led them create a multitude of artworks, paintings, sculptures, drawings, sound composition and large scale installations.

The cooperation of both artists led to an ongoing process of artistic collaboration and experimentation founded on the communal desire to explore both real and fictional spaces ranging from the mythological to the digital plains of the future. With the realization of INFINITE SCREEN, supported by the legendary institutions of art as La Biennale di Venezia, Klangforum Wien, Ars Electronica, Museum in Progress, Artcurial and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, such a collaboration comes full circle. The fruition of this fantastic symbiosis and years of research are brought together in this project and publication. Although normally sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum, the missions of these institutions have always been the same according to their own time of founding: to support contemporary art and artists in the comparison of disciplines, traditions, and visions of art. In fulfilling extraordinary projects as INFINITE SCREEN, they enable the beautification and investigations into mythology, history and aesthetics of the world around us by artists such as AROTIN & SERGHEI, and allow the “transgression of known space – the space of free thinking” to expand further into the future realms of creative endeavours.

Alexander von Arotin, born in Vienna, stems from a family of the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. Beginning music studies at the age of 4, he grew up travelling between the Burgtheater Wien and the Mosfilm studios in Moscow where his father’s second wife, the Russian movie star Maja Bulgakova, regularly made appearances. Numerous concerts in the Vienna Staatsoper and Schönbrunn Palace as a member of the Vienna Boys Choir led him to the conclusion that the realm of theatre, with its endless possibilities of transformation, represented his only possible future. At the age of 13, he studied the art theories of free–floating forms by Kandinsky, and with 16 he was admitted to the Vienna University of Music where he studied piano, composition, music theory and orchestra direction. He participated in Giorgio Strehler’s rehearsals for “Faust” at Piccolo Teatro Milano and in masterclasses at Centre Acanthes where he made electroacoustic experiments and analyzed the textures of Wagner’s music together with the composer Luigi Nono.  Further studies in art, theatre, film, and art history at University of Applied Arts in Vienna gave him the occasion to collaborate with artists such as Oswald Oberhuber, Axel Manthey, Klaus Zehelein, Vivienne Westwood, Werner Schwab, Hermann Beil and Robert Wilson. It was under such influences that he created his first artworks and theatrical creations at the Salzburg Festival in Hellbrunn castle, Künstlerhaus Vienna, Wiener Festwochen, and the kinetic installation “Happy Day Balance”, the starting point of his collaboration with Serghei.

Serghei Victor, born in the USSR in Chisinau, studied ballet, music, theatre, fashion and design. Far from Soviet ideology, the giant library at his uncle’s house gave him the possibility to study European cultures and languages. Short stints in Moscow and Saint Petersburg were followed by studies in Journalism at Chisinau University, French at the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, and Art and Archeology in Montpellier and Vienna. His home country, the region of Moldavia, is a cultural melting zone of old Thracian, Getic, Roman and Greek culture with influences from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland and the Austrian–Hungarian empire.