This piece draws on an important and tragic series of events that changed the course of Russian history, events that are directly related to the Putilov Ironworks (now known as the Kirov Factory), whose museum is located in the Gaza Palace of Culture. In 1905, a strike that began at the factory quickly spread to other plants throughout the city and turned into a crowd of workers marching to the Winter Palace intending to deliver a petition listing their needs to the Tsar. The march was intercepted by military units that fired on the workers. These events became known as Bloody Sunday and marked the beginning of the First Russian Revolution. According to eyewitness accounts, on the day of the march, St. Petersburg residents could see a solar halo—a rare optical phenomenon considered an ill omen in which a second ring of light or “pseudo sun” surrounds the sun.
In Posadsky’s two-layered work, the workers’ and St. Petersburg residents’ January 9th, 1905 petition, a handwritten list, is joined with an illustration of this natural phenomenon. The layers blend and flow into each other. The historical document overlays the image of the ominous sign in the sky in much the same way that events, facts, and memories create chains of coincidences that accrete in layers to form the path of history.
Photos by Vladimir Abikh
Yan Posadsky is a street artist, curator, and founder of Daipyat Gallery, an artist-run exhibition space and cultural center in Voronezh. He studied Architecture at Voronezh State Technical University. Posadsky was one of the winners of NOVA ART 2019, a competition for young Russian artists. He has shown work at many public and contemporary art festivals alongside Russian and foreign artists. Posadsky explores the unique character of urban sites and their historical and situational contexts, using the information he gathers to create multimedia works of public art at the intersection of contemporary art, local history, and urban studies.