Alexandr Petlura [Moscow]

Street of Truth. Living installations

Street of Truth. Living installations
Street of Truth. Living installations

30.11 – 01.12.2005

Aleksandr Petlura (Moscow)
Street of Truth: Living Installations

My name is Aleksandr Petlura. I am collector of symbols of eras. I collect objects made by human subjects and focus on the study of human activity using trash. The idea of interpreting trash as an indicator of a country’s culture came to me 30 years ago. My collection now consists of approximately 25,000 pieces. Most of it was found in trash piles, municipal dumps and abandoned houses. The rest comes from flea markets or was donated.

The objects that arrive in my laboratory are examined in three phases. The first consists of scientific research. In the second, I use the objects in stationary expositions. In the third phase, they become a part of theatrical activity. The artistic movement in which I work is called “new symbolism”. My method consists of transforming the energy from the previous owner of the object, as well as injecting my own energy and fantasy. Here the circumstances in which the object was found play an important role. Thus, my stylistic compositions belong to real history as well as to my subjective opinion concerning this history.

Chronological and historical events do not constitute my most important task. What is important, is demonstrating the evolution of the materials; the influence of the country's major political and economic phenomenon on light industry; the emergence of individualism from the masses; and finally the sophisticated suppression of mass consciousness in the context of day-to-day life.

After combining the three phases of my work (scientific research, stationary installations and theatrical activities,) into one, I created a new project called “Street of Truth: Living Installations”. This is the history of my country in pictures, from the beginning of the century until today. As if characters from historical paintings, photos and films step out from these and the statues in the stops of the Moscow metro come to life. You will also see the clothing of town idiots. Everything you will see in this project represents the truth!

The truth lies in the fact that you will hear the real sounds of Russian songbirds, speeches by Lenin and Stalin, discussions on the street, sounds of battles, as well as the most popular and beloved songs of the soviet people from various years.

The truth lies in the fact that all of the day-to-day clothing, footwear, accessories and objects you will see were manufactured in factories and sewed to order on the territory of the former Soviet Union and Russia.

The truth lies in the fact that the actors were collected on location, in order to preserve a naive style—everyone who wants to, can become an actor.

PS: For a short while, I will make you favourably disposed to everyday things, tell you about Russian culture and teach you how to drink vodka.


en collaboration avec Europalia Russie