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exhibition
Social network. “Young artists at Erarta” project
23 November 2012 — 13 January 2013
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4th exhibition of young artists at Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary art dedicated to the specificity of Russian perception of social networks

4th exhibition of young artists at Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary art dedicated to the specificity of Russian perception of social networks. While there is no national ideology and intense repulsion towards any ideology, social networks have resurrected the spirit of solidarity and national unity.

In industrious Russia the enthusiasm caused by the phenomenon of social networks is verging on collective hysteria. Millions of people broadcasting their lives from apartment buildings, office workers exhaust themselves reading their friends’ updates, women publish pictures with a carpet background. Social network users by means of editing their profile carefully construct their virtual self and form the identity of a modern person.

Besides being an instrument of self-knowledge, social networks are often referred to as «the most progressive and topical means of mass media» and even as a tool of «class struggle». Profile picture has become a common topic for many art works and it has also developed into a new portrait genre. This is clearly visible in a series of skype-portraits by Maria Tokarenko, graphics by Evgeniy Komukhin and works of Anna Efremova. Denunciation of the demonic power of social networks caused certain disappointment in some people although in others it led to «network unity»: yesterday you found a drama-class companion and tomorrow you will go protesting side by side. And the city square is not very different from the virtual space since the technological progress allows one to keep on posting and commenting on the go.

The key work of the exhibition is a large painting by Aleksey Chizhov «Fields of peace» is an artist’s interpretation of an iconic work by a socialist painter A. Milnikov. This work is about collective slumber, some sort of a somnambular state of an individual who does not belong to him or her-self. Naked young men blindly wondering through a field of poppies (in Russian, there is a word play between the names of Macintosh computers and flowers) is an allegorical depiction of active users of social networks.

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