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Ekaterina Degot - "Film der Malerei"

 

MOSCOW SUMMER

From: Ekaterina Degot The Cinema Of Painting

In: Groys B., et al., Zuruck aus der Zukunft. Osteuropaischer Kulturen im Zeitalter des Postkommunismus [Back from the Future. East European Cultures in the Era of Post-Communism], Frankfurt a/M, 2005.

Dmitri Gutov works in the space between video and painting. In his film Moscow Summer we see, one after another, on the steps of an ascending escalator in the metro, mini-skirts (plus the little clothing that is concealed beneath them). The film is accompanied by a thieves chanson sung by Arkadi Severny that was popular in the seventies. His gravelly masculine voice combined with the gaily floating mini-skirts in the metro the symbolic church of Soviet community transports the viewer into the current of love, friendship and endless free time that existed in the USSR in the years pre-perestroika.

This effect is reinforced in a series of small paintings in which the artist has repeated frames from the film; they are painted Soviet-style in the spirit of that time, in the spirit that followed the denunciation of Stalins cult of personality that is to say, with a freedom that veils a limitless belief in the goodness of human nature: after all, they seem to say, the viewer is one of us, not an enemy [# 6].

The erotic effect of looking beneath the skirt is here directly linked with the aesthetic project of the Moscow metro, its ceiling mosaics bringing about (if you attempt to pay them proper attention) dizziness, or even, as the architects hoped, ecstasy. The memoirs of Varvara Stepanova give us Mayakovskis thoughts of 1927: he felt the only way to compensate for the absence, in mass demonstrations, of the enthusiasms of 1919 [] was to launch aircraft into the sky, in order to create redundant movement the craning of the head upwards.