—One of the key figures of the Constructivism for Children exhibition
(2016) was Yakov Meksin
, the founder of the amazing Museum of Books for Children in Moscow, who would go on to be repressed and eventually forgotten. Aleksei Gastev
is another figure that needs to be rescaled. Meyer Eisenstadt
was an amazingly talented and sadly wronged person kicked to death by his colleagues and Vuchetich
. The entire exhibition was largely a story of witch hunts and persecutions. Most of our projects endeavour to expose forgotten figures, as social justice is the same as the historical one. These efforts are taking place right here and now, regardless of limitation periods, and are as urgent as the Last Address
memorial plaques. Highlighting a figure destroyed by the professional community seventy years ago is a way to send a message to the professional community of today. The rest of our practices have to do with urban activism, heritage preservation, and related narratives. What we are trying to say is that everyone must learn to look around, cherish what they see, and collect materials. Just like in the case of Herbatim
. Everything we do has a social, political component. Most of our exhibitions deal with the same issues: they are examining suppressed episodes, folds in the conventional narrative of histories and art studies. It is an important part of the framework: whenever we deal with art history or history as such, we examine it through the lens of individual people and specific contexts. The 20th century must be reviewed from the individual perspective. Throughout the last era, the discourse tended to be abstract and formal, limited to aesthetic dissection. The approach in itself was evidence of a terrible trauma inflicted upon the entire society, and only very recently people have unfrozen enough to talk about private, personal issues and establish connections between art history and economy or politics. Ignoring the system of distribution that existed for art commissions would stop us from figuring out Soviet art history as such. These aspects change our perception of the entire period.