After receiving his diploma in Moscow in 1991, Mikhail Margolis moved to the USA where he developed a strong interest in art, photography and computer sciences. Since moving to France in 2000 where he has continued to live, he studied animation and subsequently became involved in video art and interactive installations.
Mikhail Margolis retains from his studies of history at Soviet University a historical awareness and a taste for storytelling. Often inspired by Russian history, his work explores themes linked to contemporary society, depicts the deep relationship between humans and nature and questions form in the history of art.
In his work, he uses basic materials like paper, cardboard, tape, etc in an artisanal approach, combined with the most recent micro-technologies, from micro screens and computer to small electronic circuits. Both are so imbricated in the objet that they almost disappear, allowing the viewer to focus on the meaning of the artwork. The limits between the physical and the virtual elements of a piece are often blurred. In this way, Margolis establishes connections between the content of the artwork and the material used for its creation.
"Memo", an interactive installation through letters with animated stamps lyrically retraced the correspondence between a girl and her mother, deported to a gulag in Stalinist times, brought Margolis into public awareness. Among his recent artworks, influenced by the constructivist aesthetics, "Cycle of Vengeance" and "100 pieces of contemporary art", deride modernist self-referential abstract works. His video installation work "Towers", whose aesthetic was inspired most particularly by Russian Constructivism, demonstrates how time affects form while making reference to Tatlin’s Tower. It recalls the continuous phenomena of construction and deconstruction typical of human civilizations. Furthermore, "Roots", an interactive installation, illustrates the relationship between nature and human life from the point of view of a tree witnessing the passage of time.
His latests productions, such as "King Kong 2016" or "Center of the Universe", explore contemporary issues like loneliness, egocentrism and the idea of "fakeness" or artificiality via various forms and medias: interactive virtual reality installations, multimedia pieces, and a series of still-lifes made with coloured tape.