Pavel Otdelnov

OtdelnovHe was born in 1979 in Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod region. From 1999 to the present time he lives and works in Moscow. In 2015 he graduated from the Institute for Contemporary Arts (IPSI). In 2007 he graduated from the Graduate School of the Moscow State Academy of Architecture. IN AND. Surikov. In 2005 he graduated from the MGAHI them. IN AND. Surikov, the workshop of Pavel Nikonov. A graduate of the Nizhny Novgorod Art College. Nominee of the Kandinsky Prize 2015 in the nomination “Project of the Year”.

White sea. Black hole
Three generations of my family were labouring at the secret chemical factories. Those giant factories are lying in ruins now. On the place of the labour settlement is a dense forest. The memoirs of my grandmother seem to be a fairy-tale now. My project is about oblivion. I research how the real historical events turn into myths and how the nature retakes the spaces which were developed by people. Trees grow through concrete slabs and destroy the buildings. Soviet history was written as a heroic myth and has never come true in reality. Now it turns into ancient ruins.
The photos published in a factory newspaper are staged and well retouched. They represent anonymous characters constructed by the Soviet ideological machine. The real workers turn into a weak trace of ink on the yellowed paper.
There are many uncovered reservoirs with chemical tailings around Dzerzhinsk. The most famous ones are informally called “White Sea” and “Black Hole”. The first one is one the biggest in the world. The second one is the most dirty place on the Earth according to the book of Guinness.
The tailing reservoirs are the dumps of history, which remain even when the myth is dismantled and the memory of the past have become a fairy-tale. It is an “insoluble residue” of the memory that contains all the horror of reality.

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