and the Dead",
performance, installation; ESCAPE
Gallery, International Fair "Art Manege".
It was the first piece of nonspectacular (invisible) art on the
Moscow art scene. First it was exhibited in the ESCAPE Gallery,
and then at the "Art Manege" fair. The installation included
a series of "portraits" of great people, whom the members
of the project consider to be "the patriarchs of performance".
The installation represented the room of an artist Liza Marozova,
where among other possessions were the signs that reminded of that
characters of the past: "Chapaevskiy's" bread sticks,
a cup with a portrait of Leo Tolstoy, a business card of "Caligula"
department store and a "Casanova" stationery bike.
This way of exhibiting the "portraits" of the great performers
of the past was chosen for the reason that their images, according
to the members of the project, have so deeply sunk into mass culture
and gained new meanings, that it's impossible to extract them back.
During the whole period of exposition Liza Morozova lived in the
installation, permanently typing up on the computer the names of
the "dead" characters mixed up with the names of exhibition's
P.S. The project was the logical
continuation of the project "Dead and Alive", exhibited
in the Escape Gallery in January 2000. In the course of the project
each of the member-artists has chosen for himself (or herself) a
precursor, an idol or an antagonist and placed a reproduction of
his or her work in some context. The result was a new piece of art,
which had a double authorship: "Ayzenberg-Magritt", "Litvin-Rublev",
Even a tempered with art-shows spectator, who come to the "Liza
and the Dead" exhibition, had a shock, as he couldn't fetch
properly an art object out of the usual mess of the artist's workshop.
After the additional explanations, the spectators were able to understand,
that the chaotically placed objects had some meaning, and the portraits
of historical personalities (ranging from Kaligula to Chapaev),
casually stuck to the wall, were the main characters of the exposition.
It was them that a red-haired girl Liza, permanently typing something
on the computer, was communicating with. With a closer look, it
turned out, that she was typing up the names of the "dead"
(mentioned before) mixed up with the names of the "alive"
- the exhibition's visitors.
And then the visitor understood, that the idea of the performance
was simple - the objects, sunk in the everyday reality, such as
"Chapaevskiy's" bread sticks, a cup with a portrait of
Leo Tolstoy, a "Casanova" stationery bike etc., are kinds
of messages, sent by the dead to the contemporary world.
That means that Fomenko, an academician, who has excogitated that
the whole History is just a fiction, was right. And a red-haired
girl Liza explains all the nonentity of the past as an advertising
trick. Chapaev was constructed by the copywriters, who write advertising
slogans for the bread sticks, the stories about the lady-killer
Kazanova - are the order of the company that markets stationery
bikes. An inquiring spectator may come to a nontrivial conclusion,
that a cup with a portrait of Leo Tolstoy - is the only avatar of
the writer in the contemporary world.
"Marginals - Dead and Alive",
Andrey Varvaryin, "Segodnya" (newspaper), No 198, 06.09.2000