Moscow

Yevgeniy Fiks

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Sverdlov Square with its Monument to Karl Marx, Sapunov Lane (named after the hero and martyr of the October Revolution Y.N. Sapunov) and Srtensky Boulevard (which later housed a monument to Lenin's wife N.K. Krupskaya)—captured in 3 of the 5 images you see here—are among gay cruising sites of the Soviet-era Moscow photographed in this series. Employing the style of documentary photography, "Moscow" maps the failure of the project of universal liberation, began by the Russian Revolution of 1917, but later crushed by Stalin and his henchmen starting in the early 1920s. "Moscow" is about junctions but mostly disjunctions of the "queer" and the "Communist" discourses in the 20th century narrative and about the rapture of the Soviet revolutionary promise. Photographed in the spring of 2008 at six-o-clock in the morning, after a rain, these spaces are empty, sterile, and devoid of any subjects. "Moscow" is a project of mourning and remembrance, a kaddish not only for the bygone repressed and criminalized underground on the margins of the Soviet society but for the larger Communist project of universal emancipation itself.

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Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has been living and working in New York since 1994. Fiks has produced many projects on the subject of the Post-Soviet dialog in the West, among them: "Lenin for Your Library?" in which he mailed V.I. Lenin's text "Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism" to one hundred global corporations as a donation for their corporate libraries; "Communist Party USA," a series of portraits of current members of Communist Party USA, painted from life in the Party's national headquarters in New York City; and "Communist Guide to New York City," a series of photographs of buildings and public places in New York City that are connected to the history of the American Communist movement.

Fiks' work has been shown internationally, including solo exhibitions at Winkleman Gallery and Common Room 2, both in New York (USA); Contemporary City Foundation, Marat Guelman Gallery, and ARTStrelka Projects in Moscow, and the State Museum of Russian Political History, St. Petersburg (Russia); and the Lenin-Museo, Tampere (Finland). His work has been included in the Biennale of Sydney (2008); Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007); and Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2009, 2007 and 2005).