Victoria Lomasko, Art Exhibition, "Other Russias: Angry"

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Victoria Lomasko, Art Exhibition, "Other Russias: Angry"
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Victoria Lomasko, Art Exhibition, "Other Russias: Angry" says
OTHER RUSSIAS: ANGRY
Opening reception
CMU, School of Art, Ellis Gallery, rm. 312
Monday, March 20, 6-8 PM

This exhibition coincides with the publication of Other Russias (N+1, 2017), a book by the well-known Russian artist Victoria Lomasko.

Lomasko’s book is divided into two parts: “Invisible” and “Angry.” The first part consists of graphic reportage on marginalized social groups, people who are denied a voice in the public sphere and who do not assert their own rights. The second part depicts the civil protests that occurred in Russian between 2012 and 2016. Lomasko’s work underscores the importance of discussing resistance in its various forms, especially in our present moment, when acts of repression are occurring all over the world, including in the United States.

The exhibition begins with a series entitled “Chronicles of Resistance.” In 2012, thousands of people turned up at rallies in Moscow to oppose the government, and Lomasko didn’t miss a single protest. At these events she executed “meeting portraits” on the spot, modeling her work on the graphic reportage of the first Russian Revolution in 1905.

The protests of 2012 ended in further government repressions, and numerous political trials took place between 2012 and 2014. Of these trials, the most talked about were the proceedings against Pussy Riot and the “Bolotnaya case,” in which charges were brought against thirty or so protesters selected at random from those who attended the massive anti-government demonstration in Bolotnaya Square, Moscow.

There are no professional courtroom sketch artists in Russia, so Lomasko took it upon herself to portray these and other political trials. Her drawings were then circulated by way of various social media networks as well as by the anarchist newspaper Volya (Freedom). Lomasko also became the co-curator of “Drawing the Court,” a project that has created an archive of court sketches by artists working in post-Soviet space.

In the Russia of 2015 and 2016, resistance tended to take place at a more local level. The most significant of these civil initiatives in Moscow were the encampments of long-distance truck drivers and of the defenders of “Torfyanka Park.” You can learn about these protest actions in Lomasko’s illustrated newspaper, Dal'noboyshchiki, Torfyanka i Dubki.

This exhibition hopes to give at least a partial answer to the question of how a secular and democratic society—as Russia was in the 1990s—can descend into reactionary politics, and to suggest what might be done to reverse course.
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