The Commune

2-channel video installation, 40 min.

Nick Teplov places the ruin of a Soviet Fur Farm at the centre of his two-channel video installation. Abandoned artefacts and remains of the deserted farm form the spaces for projection, spaces which in their architecture and construction resemble prison camps. But the cages have been long empty; the totalitarian structures reclaimed by nature. What kind of a ‘commune’ took place here?

Using archival footage from a Stalinist propaganda film Teplov embarks on a search for cracks within the collectivist, socialist utopias. Under the Soviet Regime nomadic tribes like the Tuvans were forced to settle down and to give up their traditional way of life along with their religion, so that they would contribute their productive share as 'communards' in these new collectivised 'colonies'. In a voice-over composed of the fictional memory fragments of former 'communards', the fur farm and the Tuva of the past combine to form a space of association concerning the intertwining of utopia and dystopia.