April 25 - June 15, 2019
The artist Denis Prasolov in collaboration with Anna Ilina, a curator and an architect, presents an installation composed of the artifacts recovered from the warehouse for military medical supplies in Saint Petersburg.
The centerpiece of the installation is a series of sculptures that make use of medical urinals (known in Russian as utka, "a duck", for their shape that resembles the body of this species of bird). The "ducks" become a symbol of a diseased society, brainwashed into zombies by mass media. The duck urinals are swimming in a steady line, as if under command. This alleged order mocks the obedience of society to the rules dictated by propaganda in the papers and on television. The title of the installation refers to one of the possible origins of a popular expression "a newspaper duck" (gazetnaya utka) — a canard, an unfounded story that appears in the media. Some old English newspapers used to sign potentially false messages from an unconfirmed source with the letters "N. T." which stood for Latin non testatum, "not testified". The abbreviation is pronounced as "en-te", that sounds similar to the German word die Ente, "a duck".
The authors of the project are accentuating the problem of escapism, the flight from reality, whether conscious or subconscious, that promotes the rise of tabloids and entertainment media. Following the black thread throughout the exhibition, the viewer can conduct a personal investigation and carefully examine Soviet, Russian and European newspaper clippings. The yellow thread leads to the on the and the behind it. Thus, the authors are playing on the nature of the idea of "free " in information consumption, and also on the color of the "guiding thread" that either draws the visitor's attention to isolated cherry-picked fragments or leads them astray from truly noteworthy events.