Lecture by Vitaly Komar
ms², Ogrodowa 19, Audiovisual Room
An event accompanying the exhibition: Prototypes: Limanka Fashion House. New Collection.
Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid are a duo of Russian conceptual artists who in 1972 started the movement called Sots Art. The movement created images from the ideologized reality and socialist realism using a language and means of expression which referred to Pop Art. In 1974, during their artistic activity in a private apartment in Moscow they were arrested. In the same year, during the famous Bulldozer Exhibition, state officials destroyed their works, along with the works of other non-conformist artists. In 1976, the duo was to have the first exhibition in New York. However, the Soviet authorities did not issue permits for the artists to leave the country. Against all odds, however, the exhibition took place, and Komar and Melamid, as a commentary to the event, composed a piece whose score was based on the texts coming directly from their Soviet passports.
Soon, they created the portfolio called Superobjects- Supercomfort for Superpeople (1977), a kind of catalogue consisting of 36 pairs of photographs and texts that depicted and described some utopian Soviet devices and consumer goods. One of the products- called "olo"- presented a stud to be worn on a tongue decorated with a pearl. Those superobjects are also a set of prototypes that refer to the avant-garde goals of revolutionary artists and to consumer methods of selling products in the capitalist world.
During the lecture, Vitaly Komar talked about the targets of the Sots Art movement and the meanders of ironic criticism of socialist realism and everyday life in the country of fulfilled utopia.