Sunday, October 09, 2011


The project was carried out  in the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow from 25 April 2011 till 26 July 2011 where I was holding a position of contractor-invigilator.

In this three-month performance project matters of institutional critique coincide with practice of experimental exploration of Russian society. The performance was hugely relying on social, communal spirit of gallery's staff, their understanding of hopelessness of the condition, and disbelief in change for better that produces inability to have a collective action -  and I think that the process I followed though within this work opens up a certain perspective on today’s Russia’s ways of existence, some level of  political and social inadequacy.

The work runs  though three stages of performative change in invigilator's attitude - from happy enthusiasm to "revolutionary" moods and attempts to organise trade union.

The culmination proceeds  when myself performing an invigilator is being fired from the gallery for an attempt to defend my legal right to choose bank that would process my payment, by spreading the information over social network for an attention of my fellow colleagues. The head of department formulates this action as "sabotage", and insists that on the occurrence of any doubt of this king I could not be addressing to the collective.

Through the process of overidentification with Garage's causes and Russian official norms, the performance brings one's attention to power relations that are representative of condition of Russian reality. The persistent fact that institutional structures ran with big budgets still take personnel as a mere consumable material for their big beautifully presented causes, bring us back to what was Soviet State's take on its people. The law does not matter either. Pretentiousness of the Garage to be "Western" does not coincide with its workings on the level that goes just a few inches under visual presentation. Its corporeal ethics depends on impulses of those in charge at the moment, either collective emotional moves.  We see centre for high art ran by chaos.

For those who happen to view the performance on relative closeness (gallery staff and other participants) action was intended to highlight that what happened to turn out to be norm of the society around is not the norm of all societies, that there is a possibility of an alternative perception. The naivety of an actor-outsider becomes the only powerful media in this piece.

media and internet documentation of the performance