Collage, Soviet newspapers, 210×297


In a large cycle of mixed media collages Olya Kroytor is juxtaposing two lines of visual material—the clippings of black and white photographs and some text from Soviet time newspapers are arranged next to and within the visual ( that also means ideological) matrix of Russian modernism—from before and after the October Revolution of 1917. The two visual rows are strangely but very nicely and convincingly fitting well with each other. The storyline is straddled between the “before” and “after” of the events from 1917, between the promise and the reality, between the great utopian idea and the not so great realization. However, in as much as the visual material from the Soviet times is picked up from official newspapers (as if there were any others at the time…) it is quite unexpected to see that it is actually the official line of visual representation of Soviet life in ideologically correct and sanctioned photographs that fits in rather well with the visual idiom of modernism. In a way this cycle of works is a visual proof that indeed the great project of Modernism found ultimate, though unsatisfactory over the long run, realization in Socialist Russia. Disorienting as this may be, the collages are trying to revise notions about the recent past and to have a more complex notion of its legacy.

/from the catalog of the second Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art/