Narratives of Rejection


The Non-Conformist Museum, an independent art space in the center of St. Petersburg presented a show this summer entitled, #Rejected. The curators Elizaveta Ordinatceva and Anastasia Patsey created an open call to the artists living in the artists building complex that housing the gallery space at Pushkinskaya 10 asking them to submit work that either was rejected by a curator, by themselves or for some other reason.

The diverse works in the exhibition, along with the accompanying text written by the artists reveal their personal narratives as well as moments of reflection and reconciliation. The exhibition can be seen as a shrine of rejection, a compassionate, humorous and poignant confessional stage for artistic and communal alliances.

Below are some of the works in the exhibition with excerpts from the text by the artists.

VIZIRIAKOAlexander Viziriako
Dance on the Seven Veils, 2015
“The collectors didn’t accept this painting, a few people rejected it. Especially women dislike it, and you dear curators and spectators will probably reject it when you see it!”


Anatolly Vasillev
Explosion at Chernobyl Power Station, 1986
“The painting was made the day after the Chernobyl Disaster (April 26, 1986).
On the upper left part you can see a huge omega sign, the last letter in the Greek alphabet, signifying the world’s end. A bit lower on the right there is a fisherman on the Pripyat river, who told that at the moment of explosion the fish started to jump out of the water. I never felt like I managed to finish the work, therefore I never proposed exhibiting it.”


Marina Koldobskaya
I Don’t Want to Paint This Landscape, 2011
“The artist Alexander Florenskiy initiated a project where each artist received a canvas to draw the scene from their window. I tried to paint something for a week, and then in anger covered it up and wrote this text. I sent it to Florenskiy, thinking he would love it, but he didn’t. I suspect he even got offended and didn’t accept my work.”


Barbara Hazard
Flight, 2009
“I painted this piece 7 or 8 years ago, Kolya who shares the studio with me hung it up, but I didn’t want him to. It’s so different from my other work, all in grey’s or browns, this painting embarrasses me. I keep telling myself to throw it out, fix it up, or accept it and sign it, but I can’t.”