(St. Petersburg, Russia)
The installation Transgaza is dedicated to a landmark St. Petersburg cultural phenomenon known as gazanevshchina (Gaza-Nevskyism): Leningrad nonconformist artists launching a series of aboveground group shows of nonconformist art at officially sanctioned locations in the Gaza and Nevsky Houses of Culture in the 1970s–80s.
Transgaza is a toponym that functions as a bridge to a cultural past that is frozen in a spatially and temporally concrete point in history. It is an attempt at dialogue with a generation of artists-as-guerillas resisting the official system who served as the canary in the coal mine for its malfunctioning and eventual collapse.
PARAZIT artist collective will dramatize that time, creating a portrait of/tribute to the non-conformist “Gaza-Nevskyist” subculture and juxtaposing it with a contemporary artistic reflection on that subject. The latter will take the form of a popular folk mechanism for communicating and storing cultural information with a unique capacity for replication—a meme—woven from original photographs and text from Selected Proverbs and Sayings of the Russian People.*
*Izbrannye poslovitsy i pogovorki russkogo naroda [Selected proverbs and sayings of the Russian people], ed. A. A. Prokof’ev, N.P. Kolpakova, M. Ya. Mel’ts and G. G. Shapovalova (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo khudozhestvennoi literatury, 1957).
PARAZIT is an occupation project that centers in part on PARAZIT Gallery, located on the grounds of Borey Art Center. PARAZIT’s operations take place on the bodies of various cultural institutions, in sites and spaces not designed for exhibitions. Creative expansion and the multiplication of the gallery’s affiliates on other people’s territory, both with and without the consent of its owners, are innate parts of PARAZIT’s nature. PARAZIT Gallery’s name was coined in 2000 by New Blockheads members Vadim Flyagin and Vladimir Kozin. In 2004, at Kozin’s urging, the name was ratified by the other founding members of the Art for the Masses exhibition series—Yury Nikiforov, Igor Mezheritsky, and Andrey Chezhin—as a fitting name for their permanent gallery project. The group currently boasts over 10,000 members who engage in subversive art activities across the globe.
Aliya Bezrukova, Mitya Beloglazov, Maria Grabareva, Natalia Grazhdankina, Grigory Gryaznov, Tatyana Dubovskaya, Dmitriy Zheravov, Anna Ivonina, Vladimir Kozin, Anna Kokh, Luybov Krivenko, Gerasim Kuznetsov, Vladimir Lilo, Alexander Morozov, Timur Musaev-Kagan, Igor Panin, Igor Plotnikov, Kerim Ragimov, Marfa Ragimova, Olga Rostrosta, Kolya Sadovnick, Emilia Sangi, Vera Svetlova, Andrey Sikorskiy, Ivan Smirnov, Vladimir Speransky, Maksim Stepanov, Mitya Stikh, Alexander Strokov, Alena Tereshko, Natali Feofilova-Feting, Petr Shvetsov, Lukas Shvetsov, Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai