A new art movement is gaining popularity in St. Petersburg, with people posting black and graphic pictures depicting numerous replications of one element in their social media profiles. The Terminalizm, that’s based on repeating and rhythm, seems to be going far beyond the boundaries its creators we originally thinking of.
The idea behind the Terminalizm is the self-expression of people curbed by strict rules: every next creator repeats the symbol, i. e. the “term”, be it a graphic element, sound, letter, or whatever else. The term cannot be altered and must be repeated with the rhythm as namely the rhythm is the main factor cementing the performance. “The task of an artist-terminalist is getting things in order through the aesthetics of the rhythm, keeping in mind a slogan: “The rhythm is above all”, Ivan Kulikov, creative director of the Terminal design company, the co-creator of the Terminalizm, says in an interview to the media.
While it’s difficult to describe this with words, the gist of the movement can easily shown by the cover photo and the picture below:
More photos can be found on the website of the Terminal design company, there are also video of creating terminalist works.
The Terminalizm is about finding a balance between the personal and the collective through repeating similar forms which eventually differ from each other despite the desire of artists to make them look identical. Not surprisingly that the movement was born in Russia, a country with a long controversial history of the fight between the individual freedom and society’s needs – the controversy which reached its peak during the 70-year Communism rule.
In November 2014, the first Terminalizm exhibition was held in St. Petersburg with more events to follow. One of them was the VK Fest in the summer 2017, the biggest open air city festival, organized by the most popular social network in Russia, VK. Visitors could participate in the creation of a Terminalizm-styled work.
In August 2017, the Terminalizm creators took part in another open air in St. Petersburg, The Living streets, with the same mission.
In November 2017, a specially brewed limited edition beer was named after the Terminalizm, the move which significantly contributed to the success of the Terminalizm across social and traditional media. The prominent World Packaging Design Society website covered the design of the beer.
“I now have two bottles of collection beers, which I may sell in 50 years”, an Instagram user @dvkrmn wrote in his post. Though, further down the post he said he was going to taste the beer.
“Guys from St. Petersburg are having fun, a user of the VK network Alexander Mikhailov writes in his comments on the photo. – I would like to have a T-shirt like this”.
“A stunning photo from my store, I shot it at an exhibition. Couldn’t get the gist of the idea completely, but looks nice”, a Facebook user Sergey Vasiliev said in his post.
“It looks simple, nice and draws attention”, a famous St. Petersburg photograph Irina Muksimova comments on the reasons for the growing interest toward the Terminalizm. St. Petersburg artist Pyotr Frolov says that the attention to the Terminalizm might a temporary phenomenon as the concept is very simple and meant to be repeated by everyone, and this simplicity will hardly turn into an art school of notable significants.