The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture opens the Phantom Monuments
exhibition representing artworks by artists active in the genres of sculpture,
installation and video.
The display focuses on the idea of creating a modern monument. In their
creations artists ponder the themes and forms of the modern monument and its
The monument as an image has a characteristic spectral, phantom nature today
reflecting the change in our perception of history, the growing divide between
the public mentality, created by the didactic state memorials, and personal
recollections. Our experience shows that man remembers what helps him find his
bearing in modernity. Quite often personal recollections clash with official,
historical facts or are derived from the marginal zones of culture, and
sometimes they are right incredible.
Arseny Zhilyayev’s installation is dedicated to “shuttle traders”, personages
from the Perestroika period who broke the Soviet territorial blockade. Metal
rods forming the structure of street stands can be read as a line from the
Soviet song: “Hope is our compass on the Earth.” Aleksey Buldakov’s video
represents the memory of the 1905 revolution in Russia in the familiar image of
billowing smoke rising over factory smokestacks. Obelisks of Kirill Ass and
Anna Ratafyeva are dedicated to the private histories of unknown people instead
of major historical developments. An installation by Anastasia Ryabova made
from hundreds of flagpoles is the monument to ephemeral political life of our
Dedicating their artworks to “phantom” events, artists seek new ways to present
them. In some cases authors consciously use artistic methods, clashing with the
notion of monumentality. In other cases ephemeral matter acquires the substance
and weight of the monument.
In both cases phantom meanings acquire form, and events that disappeared from
our memory acquire real outlines.
The monument to modernity of Aleksey Kostroma is a huge white globe of garbage
bags. Phantom nature is also characteristic of the work by Sergey Ogurtsov: his
wall panel made of stickers lives and falls apart with time. The Form of Light,
a sculpture by Zhanna Kadyrova, is an attempt to dress the illusory essence of
light in solid matter. Ilya Dolgov fills the philosophical sentiments of St.
Augustine with actual meaning in the web of electric wires in his work.
The Phantom Monuments exhibition opens the new program of the Center, the
Experiment Zone. The hall of Garage will house the shows of Russian and foreign
artists whose practice is important at present, demonstrating new trends in
Kirill Ass and Anna Ratafyeva, Aleksey Buldakov, Arseny Zhilyayev, Ilya Dolgov,
Zhanna Kadyrova, Aleksey Kostroma, Sergey Ogurtsov, Alexander Povzner,