Morozov Aleksandr

AUTHOR Born in 1974 in Lugansk. Graduated from the St. Petersburg Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Winner of the Sergey Kuryokhin Award (2019, “Best Visual Art Project”). Lives and works in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Dystopia Station

“Dystopia Station” is a heavy presence in the liminal “non-place” or “non-space”, an open question about trauma for which the state and society will not accept responsibility. The installation addresses the topic of de-Sovietisation and the possibility of future justice. Soviet industrialisation in the twentieth century was an experience of violently mobilised modernisation. The site-specific “Dystopia Station” reconstructs local memories, addressing the use of forced intellectual labour. An airship was assembled from archive storage boxes so as to hover in the Manege exhibition hall in St. Petersburg, a former garage of the NKVD troops. The airship not only “raises” the local context but also draws our attention to the tragic fate of Nikolay Lanceray (1879-1942) and others who toiled in the “special design and technical bureaus”, the so-called sharashki — research and design institutions that were de facto prisons. Lanceray had worked under duress on reconstructing the Manege from July 1931 to 1935.
The boxes are empty — and thus filled with the potential of different readings by the viewers. Continuing the theme of exploring inaccessible archives, each box of the airship is assigned an abbreviation corresponding to one of the design offices. The boxes contain the invisible personal files of the regime’s victims; as units of cultural memory, they refer to the politics of its formation. At present, the relevant archives are closed to independent researchers. Until the state changes its policy toward the past, we will not be able to enter the present.

The installation was created for NEMOSKVA project and was shown in 2020 at the exhibition «More than Moscow» (The Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg)

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