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THE AMAZING JOURNEY OF A MISCHIEVOUS BOY

Anna Titova

07.09.2021 - 27.02.2022



The Vadim Sidur Museum and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art present The Amazing Journey of a Mischievous Boy, a research project by artist Anna Titova who reimagines the renovated permanent exhibition of the Vadim Sidur Museum. It took several years to complete the project which also includes the reconstruction of Sidur’s lost sculpture as well as interaction with public organizations in the Perovo and Novogireevo districts. The project is the result of Anna Titova’s long research into the means and practices of reproducing social and cultural connections that work in urban environments. Inspired by a critical reading of modernist urban utopias, gender studies of subjectivity, and the concept of distributed action in Jane Bennett’s new materialism, the artist explores the conditions allowing to transform hierarchical cultural systems into open and inclusive environments, with immersiveness becoming an inclusion that endows the public with a new level of agency.

The Amazing Journey of a Mischievous Boy includes the following parts: the first floor features results of working with Vadim Sidur’s personal archive, while the second floor focuses on the project carried out with local grassroots organizations Mamas up and Perovo Architectural. From the moment it opened within the walls of a former flower store in 1989 until its transfer to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2018, the Sidur Museum has defended and fought for the right to be a unique open environment for audiences with different needs and abilities. Titova’s project extends this approach by offering a new format for the viewer’s engagement through the language of installation, sculpture and animation. A boy named Gopi, an animated character drawn by Sidur for the Indian fairy tale The Amazing Journey of a Mischievous Boy (1969) who turned as small as an ant and spent a day in the world of insects where he learnt compassion, courage and care for the nearest and dearest, will become the protagonist and a metaphor for the entire project.

The project offers a new vision of the museum’s role, rethinking it through the ideas of a public archive (the collection is accessible to everyone because it is not a national property, but a public resource [Claire Bishop]) and radical education (the work is not a treasure to be protected, but a relational object aimed at a social and political liberation of its user [Lygia Clark]). What is at stake here is a new arrangement of social space and a redefinition of the category of contemporary through art’s connections to local histories of universal relevance. This inclusive model of the exhibition environment devised by Anna Titova seeks to tell stories and represent the interests of disenfranchised and marginalized social groups rather than expressing the opinions of a privileged minority.

Project partners:
ARTWIN GALLERY
ALEDO