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Exhibitions
19.08 - 20.08.2017

Tthe reconstruction of the project OBSERVATION POINTS (1976), Vyacheslav Akhunov, UZ

19.08-20.08.2017

“Ў” gallery of contemporary art in the framework of the exchange residencies program “ARTPROSPEKT” presents the reconstruction of the project OBSERVATION POINTS (1976) by the artist from Uzbekistan, Vyacheslav Akhunov

In the 1970s the society did not face such a technical concept as a surveillance camera. There were cases of watching but most functions of surveillance cameras and ‘bugs’ were carried out by ‘snitches’ – people recruited by the KGB, or volunteers from among the so-called ‘conscious’ citizens. They took upon themselves the mission of whistleblowing, as they assured themselves “in order to strengthen consciousness and discipline in the society, and also to help to identify enemies of the people and of the Soviet Power”. ‘Informers’ had always been among us: at the University, at work, on vacation, on tourist trips to the socialist countries, on factories, collective farms and state farms, among military and in the research centers. The society could not imagine its life without ‘snitches’ and the art world could not imagine its life without ‘an art critic in citizen’s clothes’. Everybody snitched: kids and adults, little Octobrists, pioneers, Komsomol members, Communists, non-party, believers and atheists, heroes, chiefs and ordinary citizens. Invisible they were always nearby, friends and comrades, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters – the Soviet society was so poisoned with ‘snitching’ that people were afraid of frank conversations with their families and friends.

Thus a desire appeared to recall with the help of the language of art, in this case, a conceptual one, a painful feature of the Soviet society i.e. total surveillance and ratting on each other.

Akhunov Vyacheslav Romanovich (b. 02 July 1948, Osh, Kirghiz SSR, USSR) is an Uzbek and Kyrgyz artist, a founder of contemporary art in Uzbekistan, a representative of the independent art scene which linked the two periods of the non-conformist art – Soviet and post-Soviet ones. His works the artist created almost beyond the context of the Moscow conceptualism or emigrant social art. In the late 1970s he formulated his direction in art as a “socialist modernism”. In the late 80s the artist easily parted with visual art, preferring other ways of expression, and then, in the early 2000s just as easily returned to it.

Since 1980 he has lived in Tashkent. Since 2011 Vyacheslav Akhunov is restricted to leave his country – the Uzbek authorities deprived the artist of the opportunity to travel abroad to participate in exhibitions with the wording “it is inappropriate”. Since the late 1990s, the artist has participated in major exhibitions, such as Documenta 13 (2012); 55, 52, 51 the Venice Biennale (2013, 2007, 2005); The Singapore Biennale of contemporary art (2013, 2006); Atlas, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain – ZKM | Museum fur Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, Germany – Sammlung Faickenberg, Hamburg, Germany (2011–2010), “Ostalgia”, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA (2011); 11th International Biennale in Istanbul (2009), “Traces of the Sacred”, Pompidou Center, Paris, France and Centre for Contemporary art, Munich, Germany (2008).

The project was implemented within the framework of the international platform "ART PROSPECT", the program of the artistic residencies for artists from 10 post-Soviet countries. The main project partner CEC ArtsLink