An exhibition of Pavel Otdelnov “Industrial Zone” is opening at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art . The tragic and surreal story of the abandoned factories of Dzerzhinsk, one of the most environmentally polluted places on the planet, is described in paintings, videos, texts, objects and documents.
Pavel Otdelnov has long been known for his interest in the subject of the outskirts: Moscow region and provincial Degunino not only inspire the artist with their harsh industrial beauty, but also draw attention to the social problems of the sleeping areas.
However, the project “Promzona” is very personal, it is connected with the history of the artist's family. Separately, originally from the city of Dzerzhinsk, he lived here until the age of 18. Three generations of his ancestors lived here, and his father processed it at all local factories. Former industrial giants in the post-Soviet era have ceased to exist, being left standing like reinforced concrete ghosts on contaminated land. Waste from chemical industries was dumped into local lakes and land for decades, which led to a monstrous environmental disaster.
To see the industrial ruins, the artist had to become a stalker, getting into abandoned industrial zones at times with the risk of his life. The film “Chemical Plant” shows the history of a workshop flooded with water and then frozen. Abandoned equipment and pipes can be seen under the ice. The frozen workshop has become an installation built by life itself.
Living destinies stand behind ruined industrial landscapes. The exhibition shows portraits of workers who worked at the Dzerzhinsk factories, as well as items found in the industrial zone. And next to it there are quotes from the book of the artist's father, Alexander Otdelnov, “Do not enter without a gas mask” with stories about everyday life at the factory.
In addition, the exposition will include documentaries made by Pavel Otdelnov about the surroundings.