Ekaterina Gavrilova and Pyotr Zhukov

GavrilovaJukovThe silhouettes of Japanese citizens burned into the walls and streets of Hiroshima by the nuclear explosion were described in a novel by Michel Tourniers as a kind of experimental photography. Now, in Defense Mechanisms, Pyotr Zhukov and Ekaterina Gavrilova refer to the half-forgotten sensation of responsibility that catastrophies like Hiroshima forced the world’s superpowers to bear. The desert that has appeared in the place of discredited utopias does not mean anti-utopias cannot flourish. Convinced of this, these two young artists discover an exemplary visual metaphor pulled from an old textbook on civil defense. One of its pictures illustrates the sad tale of a girl who covered herself with a printed sheet to protect herself from the nuclear explosion. As a result, the hottest moment of the war of ideologies left her with floral-print burn marks. For Defense Mechanisms, Zhukov and Gavrilova covered photographic portraits with a mesh of ideological symbols that people choose for themselves in our time, without waiting for the nuclear alarm to go off.
Maxim Krekotnev