Artist: Lisa Schmitz
Curator: Vitalij Patzukov, NCCA Moscow
Organizers: NCCA and Rudomino State Library for Foreign Literature, Marble Hall
When I leave the appartment in the morning, I never know, what will happen during the day – and in the evening I discover with surprise, that a new Moscow has invented itself. The polis is a vibrant organism with its private-public scenarios, where social, cultural, economic and political life intersect. Beauty and crime, happiness and mafia, love and sadness play active parts in a multifaceted choreography, where traffic congestions continue until late in the night.
The homo muscovitus acts and thinks in many languages, with multiple identities, originating from multiple locations – an expert in the intensive network practice of human communication.
Moscow and the Muscovites is a poem written in the early 1980’s by Dmitry Alexandrovich Prigov, who liked to call himself DAP. Its elaborate, lively verse is full of humorous, sharp and sensitive observations.
For the installation, each of the lines of the poem are printed on different sheets of paper. Each of the poem fragments are held by people passing by in the streets, places, metro-stations, markets, shops and libraries of Moscow. A photo is taken of each person holding the poem fragment.
The photo series starts in DAP’s appartment in Moscow-Beljaevo from his balcony, looking towards Moscow-Vnukovo. The camera crosses the room, moves down the staircase, snakes along the street and heads to the metro station. It traverses Moscow, involving and confronting inhabitants performatively. The photo series is an excursion. It is a human reading chain of DAP’S poem: Moscow and the Muscovites. By reading the text today in this context we see how much private-public life has changed and how human behaviour in the megapolis Moscow has changed as well.
The photo series is to be presented as an installation.
Another thin long text line will interact with the Prigov photoseries. Hand written on a flat ribbon and seen in reverse, this is the text of the poetic novel 'Eugene Onegin' by Alexander Puschkin. This text, known by all Russians, is an important keystone in Dmitry Prigov’s poetry and art practice.
Lisa Schmitz, notes, April 2009
Sponsors: NLO, Gudrun Steinacker