"Liza and the Dead",
performance, installation; ESCAPE Gallery, International Fair "Art Manege".

It was the first piece of nonspectacular (invisible) art on the Moscow art scene. First it was exhibited in the ESCAPE Gallery, and then at the "Art Manege" fair. The installation included a series of "portraits" of great people, whom the members of the project consider to be "the patriarchs of performance". The installation represented the room of an artist Liza Marozova, where among other possessions were the signs that reminded of that characters of the past: "Chapaevskiy's" bread sticks, a cup with a portrait of Leo Tolstoy, a business card of "Caligula" department store and a "Casanova" stationery bike.

This way of exhibiting the "portraits" of the great performers of the past was chosen for the reason that their images, according to the members of the project, have so deeply sunk into mass culture and gained new meanings, that it's impossible to extract them back.

During the whole period of exposition Liza Morozova lived in the installation, permanently typing up on the computer the names of the "dead" characters mixed up with the names of exhibition's visitors.

P.S. The project was the logical continuation of the project "Dead and Alive", exhibited in the Escape Gallery in January 2000. In the course of the project each of the member-artists has chosen for himself (or herself) a precursor, an idol or an antagonist and placed a reproduction of his or her work in some context. The result was a new piece of art, which had a double authorship: "Ayzenberg-Magritt", "Litvin-Rublev", "Morozova-Braygell" etc.


Even a tempered with art-shows spectator, who come to the "Liza and the Dead" exhibition, had a shock, as he couldn't fetch properly an art object out of the usual mess of the artist's workshop. After the additional explanations, the spectators were able to understand, that the chaotically placed objects had some meaning, and the portraits of historical personalities (ranging from Kaligula to Chapaev), casually stuck to the wall, were the main characters of the exposition. It was them that a red-haired girl Liza, permanently typing something on the computer, was communicating with. With a closer look, it turned out, that she was typing up the names of the "dead" (mentioned before) mixed up with the names of the "alive" - the exhibition's visitors.

And then the visitor understood, that the idea of the performance was simple - the objects, sunk in the everyday reality, such as "Chapaevskiy's" bread sticks, a cup with a portrait of Leo Tolstoy, a "Casanova" stationery bike etc., are kinds of messages, sent by the dead to the contemporary world.

That means that Fomenko, an academician, who has excogitated that the whole History is just a fiction, was right. And a red-haired girl Liza explains all the nonentity of the past as an advertising trick. Chapaev was constructed by the copywriters, who write advertising slogans for the bread sticks, the stories about the lady-killer Kazanova - are the order of the company that markets stationery bikes. An inquiring spectator may come to a nontrivial conclusion, that a cup with a portrait of Leo Tolstoy - is the only avatar of the writer in the contemporary world.

"Marginals - Dead and Alive", Andrey Varvaryin, "Segodnya" (newspaper), No 198, 06.09.2000


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