‘I live in Freedom!’ Not many people can say that – but some people can. Idea, Freedom, Hope, Forwards, Happiness, Ideal, Future – if you look hard on the map of Russian Federation you can find out that these are the real names of towns and villages. Do they stand as signs of forever gone soviet utopia? Does it make one feel happier to live in a town called Happiness or it sounds more like a mockery?
At his recent show in Vinzavod (19.05-17.06 2013) a Russian artist Mikhail Zaikanov exhibited envelopes, which he has sent to all of the above cities. He addressed them to the non-existed people so that the post office had to return the letters back and make a stamp, which would confirm the existence of these places.
Together with those letters the exhibition consisted of canvases with fragments of the map. All of the colours and details were erased making these beautiful titles of towns and villages as if hovering in the created pauses.
So can you imagine how it feels to write, when filling your address, that you are not from London but from Happiness?
Photos by Anastasia Blyur