Artem Loskutov

OVERVIEWEssays on Artist
    Arseny Sergeyev

                         From “You’re Not in Moscow Here”

“….One of the most important political art works of the last decade is Monstration, created by Artyom Loskutov of Novosibirsk. His flash mob project is a wonderful example of how, thanks to precise work with cultural stereotypes, the Soviet legacy, and the Sovietizing context of current domestic policy becomes an art concept which turns into a popular movement and a new cultural tradition. The artist came up with the idea of re-coding the Soviet traditions of holiday parades—for the May 1st demonstration he invited people to come out to celebrate International Labour Day, with absurdist posters, slogans, and banners that mock and turn inside out Russia’s domestic and foreign policy, mass culture, and the ever more absurd daily life in the country. The style of the Monstration slogans had a powerful influence on the style of the 2011 protests in Moscow. In the intervals between preparations for the annual Monstration, which has taken place in various cities over the last seven years, Artyom Loskutov produced poster interventions in the advertising light boxes of Moscow bus stops. Every poster became a media event in the social networks, the voice expressing the opinion of Russian civil society. A poster that appeared on the anniversary of Stalin’s death with his death mask and the text That One Died, So Will This One hinted at the finite nature of every authoritarian regime. The poster Forbidden - an irony over the work of the so-called ‘crazed printer’ - the super intensive work of the State Duma’s last session, which passed an absurdly large number of laws, most of them anti-constitutional, forbidding various things. Since most of the laws have no force in Russia, they lead to the opposite result, confirming a biblical truth—forbidden fruit is sweet.”