The title of the exhibition is a quote from One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn’s seminal novel offers us a glimpse of life in the Gulag and how the everyday is reordered by the harsh realities of survival. These prisons dot the landscape around Omsk–and though the Gulags are now closed, their presence continues to shape the city and the life of its inhabitants.
Nikita Pozdniakov was born in 1987 in Omsk, and grew up during the transitional period. His work draws on social realism and Russian literature to witness the surreal and all too tangible aspects of life in Siberia. Deserted Khruscheva and lonely telephone wires recall the mysticism of The Master and Margarita. One can imagine cats flying through the sky above the barren landscapes, just as easily as the rationing of tea bags and bread crusts.
Nikita’s work serves as testament to the beauty and the battle of ordinary existence in Omsk. He paints life in a landscape shaped by dramatic reversals of power, that paradoxically remains unchanged and eternal.
When absolute power is transient and absurdity is reality, what do you have for dinner?
5 – 25 February