Olga Jurgenson

jurgensonGraduated from the Repin State Institute. Has lived in the UK since 2002, lived in the UK since 2002. Participant in significant group exhibitions and residencies across Europe, Asia, Australia, including Liverpool biennial and Wind Art festival in Seoul. Awarded numerous grants and awards from several European foundations. The majority of more than 20 solo projects are multidisciplinary installations. Works are in collections of The State Russian Museum, NCCA, state and private collections in Russia, Europe, USA.

Glory to Capitalism!

A significant number of Russian-speaking immigrants have settled in the UK over the past two dec­ ades. This process started in the 1990s, and a new wave followed in 2004. Unemployed professionals and workers filled vacancies in agriculture, food manufacturing and hospitality, often performing dull duties in low-paid jobs that British citizens refused. To comment and reflect upon the experience of migrant workers in the UK, Jurgenson developed an interactive installation: “Time, Forward!” was composed by Georgy Sviridov for a film glorifying the builders of the Magni­ togorsk Steel Plant in the 1930s. Jurgenson used this famous piece as the soundtrack for her “more modern” hymn to the working class, alongside video images of migrant workers from the former USSR at a British factory. While they are processing and packaging food, workers have to listen to pop music that is broadcast in order to increase productivity. As part of the exhibition “Glory to Capitalism!” the audience is in­vited to sing and dance to a karaoke version of “Go West” as the noise of machinery from Jurgenson’s footage can be heard in the background. In her video “Workers of the World Unite!” Jurgenson decorates cakes with political slogans, which is a commentary on the radical political changes in Russia. At the opening of the exhibition the artist will cut and offer cakes to visitors.

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