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On January 26, the XL Gallery hosted the opening of the Moscovite Anthem exhibition by Moscow-based artist, curator, and art theorist Anatoly Osmolovsky.
One of the high-profile events of last year was the introduction of a number of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The key object of the exhibition - the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation with amendments in Buryat language - was inspired by this event. A Russian-speaking reader may understand some words from the text of the amendments made to the legal act, but in general these inserts will seem to be a kind of "nonsense". The exhibition also includes a sculpture by Osmolovsky and a sound installation made up of 18 loudspeakers of different types: from the horns comes the repeatedly amplified, deafening squeak of mosquitoes.
"The mosquito hymn can be seen as a kind of reference to the "Fragment of zoomorphic discourse" series by Andrei Monastyrsky, one of the founders of Moscow conceptualism. Works from this series were presented at the exhibition "Carriers," held at the XL Gallery in 2013: they were entomological illustrations depicting the genitals of mosquitoes and tinted with gold paint. Gold because this is the color traditionally used to paint details, such as the halos of angels, on icons. But it is impossible to see with the naked eye neither angels nor the genitals of mosquitoes. According to Monastyrsky's idea, this conditional invisibility places such different entities in the same contextual field, endows them with the same property: they can exist only in the imagination of the one who thinks about them. And in this respect, something completely insignificant becomes equal to the sacred.
Osmolovsky's exhibition is a poignant social project in which unanswered questions and the heat of public sentiment are transformed into a chaotic and uncomfortable space, while retaining visual rigor. The situation with which Osmolovsky works is brought to the point of absurdity: the "sacred" law of the country is unreadable, while the annoying sound of the "mosquito anthem" pours on and on from loudspeakers, meaningless and endless.
Anatoly Osmolovsky was born in 1969 in Moscow. Founder and leader of the E.T.I. (Expropriation of Art Territory) movement in the late 80's and early 90's. Winner of the Kandinsky Prize in the category "Artist of the Year". (2007). In 2011 together with Svetlana Baskova he established the BAZA Institute of Contemporary Art. Participant in the 55th Biennial of Contemporary Art (Casa dei Tre Ochi, Venice). Solo exhibitions of the artist took place in the gallery XL ("Gum with hair", 1994; "Something from time to time falling out of the trash can", 1996; "Order of the army of art", 1997; "Sheets", 1999; "Seven deaths in Moscow", 2003), the gallery "Triumph", the gallery pop/off/art and others.