Utopian Unemployment Union N2

Utopian Unemployment Union

In one of the rooms or transitory spaces (staircase, hallway) of the Winter Palace takes place a dance of migrant workers and ballet dancers .(Vaganovskoe uchilishe). It is a performance with a structure: first the ballet dancers teach the migrants how to dance, then the opposite. We install their national women’s dresses. In the first part the dresses are “seated” around in the chairs. In the second part these dresses are hanging from the ceiling. There is a figure of a moderator who directs the dance, like a conductor. This figure looks without gender, as an androgyn.

The turning point of the performance is when the migrants do a particular ritual with this personage, e.g. they bind him to a column. They mix dresses (wives) with this figure, in a kind of execution. But from the outside it looks like a game. They are smiling doing it, like kids.

The project consists in 2 parts:

1) Research. We interview the migrants as one normally does before the filming. It might be material for the video sound track also. We ask them questions. Mieke Bal will participate in this. Since we will seek to make this an exchange project between Russia and the Netherlands, we will also interview migrant workers in Amsterdam. Edited versions of these interviews will be displayed on a monitor in the installation.

2) The performance itself, which will be videotaped. For this we need a rehearsal of 3 days minimum, and 2 days for filming. Postproduction will take one week.

Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya and Tsaplya)

Video, 20 minutes

Aspect ratio: 9×16

Two channel video installation, one on projection, one on monitor

Clothes hanging in the space; spotlights.

Russia, 2009.
14 minutes

Utopian Trade Union for the Unemployed No. 2


We think that art should help people.

If you’ve been fired from your job and you’re in despair,

The ballerinas of the Vaganova Academy are willing to give you a helping hand,

And even a foot, and they’ll even give you their hearts.

The monstrous alienation that exists among people will be overcome.

There can be no doubt about this.

The way we move our bodies, like how we feel, can be transformed.

When you’re suspended between spaces,

When you’re stuck between stable structures,

Then your condition is revolutionary!

Reinvent yourself!

Inspired by Natalie Pershina | Copyright © 2018