Conceptual works :

1992


Click on a fragment to see the whole picture
 

"Moscow to the End of the Line"
Illustrated book.
1992
     From the artist's notes:
    
<...> In fact, it is impossible to illustrate "Moscow to the End of the Line" by common means. It is absolutely necessary to find an original approach, method, or even a game. Today, looking at my computer display, I have the feeling that I am looking at the book that I did long ago, my version of "Moscow...": there were the same small text characters (as the author's text on the book pages), running captions below, frames with images appearing in the various places of the window. These windows may be static, like a video fragment frozen on the "Pause" button. Now I no longer remember if then, in 1992, I had seen a "genuine" computer. Perhaps I saw it, but sure that I had no clear idea of its functions.
     I wanted to make neither a book nor a picture. On each page, our life had to be present. Simply and clearly. Like a TV reporting with an off-screen voice. This became my invention, my found approach. Titles, a kind of running text captions on each pair of pages embodied that very off-screen voice. TV reporting plus an anchor's voice behind the picture. I also found another approach and was delighted: somewhere in the middle of the book the pages must be mixed up and the pictures attached carelessly, because it is clear that make such a work and not to have a few drinks would be a sin. 
     Further I found the text for these "running text captions." <...> The Soviet posters were on sale everywhere, there were particularly many of them in the "Military Book" store. Posters with images of military equipment, gas masks, grenades, Dzerzhinsky's biography, Lenin's childhood, boy-scout heroes, etc. I walked among store shelves, as if I was walking on a palette among colors squeezed out of tubes in search of the right color. The most suitable for me was a poster with instructions (or, more exactly, with slogans) for citizens on how to protect themselves from the mass extermination weapons, in common terms - from an atom bomb. I bought a set I no longer remember how many sheets there were. The saleswoman asked: "Do you need a receipt for your account department?" It would be strange if she hadn't asked that. Probably I was the only buyer ever who took this sort of material for himself and not for an organization.
     Cutting off these slogans from the posters, I started pasting them on the broadsides of Erofeev's "poem in prose". After a while I understood that the red strips of slogans would not be enough to get to the end of the book. I started to economize. Instead of two or three words in a page I pasted one word at a time. I counted the remaining words and then the pages there still would not be enough. Then I met another unexpected problem: the combination of the words from the slogans and the pictures that were on the page resulted in such a terrifying content that I had to somehow soften what I had done. There was no system involved. On the left side I put an image, on the right side I pasted the book pages from "Moscow..." Across the broadside, at page bottom, these slogans went from one page to the other, like TV running text. I began to worry that all this would interfere with Erofeev's text. That was absolutely unwished.
     "IT IS IMPERATIVE TO STRICTLY OBSERVE ALL RULES OF CONDUCT IN
CASE OF DANGER AND DURING THE USE BY THE ENEMY OF BACTERIOLOGICAL
(BIOLOGICAL) WEAPONRY."
     Here everything will be funny: a label from canned pork, a photo of Che Guevara as a child or the "Joseph Stalin" train.
     At the end of the book:
     "Interbook Publishers is sad to report that the prominent Russian writer VENEDIKT VASILEVICH EROFEEV died on May 11 after a long-time and serious
illness.
     ...The funeral will be at Vagankov Cemetery at 1 p.m."
Context:
Venedikt Erofeev (1938-1990) is one of the best Russian writers of the twentieth-century. In 1970 Erofeev wrote his best known work "Moskva - Petushki" - translated in English as "Moscow to the End of the Line", which is generally considered his masterpiece.

Grateful Letters
Series of 20 sheets
1992
     From the Nina Grozova's article:
     "
Sometimes the maestro allows himself to be ironic.  In his workshop <...> solemnly hang several original "Grateful Letter" forms (do you remember such a genre that existed not long ago?). On them, carefully, letter by letter, are pasted the names of the leaders of Soviet underground culture, those who in our times have unexpectedly become the new "Generals" of the official art."
 
 

     

Lenin
Series of 4 sheets
34*45
cm.
1992
     From the artist's notes:
    
I made this work in 1992, already after the fall of the regime. In the bookstores there was the liquidation sale for stacks of posters, diplomas, postcards, and books on Lenin and his circle. I bought a lot of this. 
     This is one of four sheets. Lenin's portrait is the same on all 4 sheets, he looks like an intellectual with the bookshelves on background. In front of Lenin's portrait there are his quotations about the eradication of Russian citizens. 
     Of course, it would have been possible to do another interesting works using the purchased materials, but I consider that the exploration of this theme in our days seem too insipid. I made not more than a couple of works on the Lenin theme, and yet this was mainly for justifying the purchases I made before.
 

After Beuys
Series of 24 sheets
1992

Untitled
1992

National Anthems
Series of 43 sheets
1992

 

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