a video project by Chto Delat
realised by Tsaplya [Olga Egorova], Nikolay Oleinikov, Dmitry Vilensky
This project is a collaboration between Dmitry Vilensky, Tsaplya, and Nikolai Oleinikov (image: left to right), who invited Igor Lebedev and Artiom Magun to join them in this slide show performance. The soundtrack provides a didactic commentary reflecting the community and its collective actualization of the piece.
It is important to note that the workers on the painting are not shown in the process of working, but that they are taking a well-deserved cigarette break. They have interrupted their work and now have the chance to consider both the relations that govern it, but also the significance it will have to the transformation of society at large. This is exactly how the painting was read in its time, as an interpretation we would like to return to today.
This painting is the ideal image of the "Thaw" under Khrushchev, when it seemed that the real Soviet human being had already been formed, and was now ready to build a communist society. The painting's characters are such people. However, the painting's power lies in the fact that they are absolutely real people, even if they have been idealized.
Our project's goal is to apply this ideal image to contemporaneity. We invite the spectator to return to the composition of this painting and to suggest a new version of the process of its creation. We want to show (through a slide show and sound track) what might have preceded this moment, in which they took on a pose that turned them into a symbol of certainty, strength and belief. What was it? Hard work? A conflict in production that found its own solution? Or maybe even a hidden love story? Maybe it was all of these things at once, and maybe none of it happened. Our goal lies in constructing a situation in which people today (ourselves and our colleagues from Chto delat) become "ideal," stretching to reach this image.