Moscow Portraits (Moskovski Portreti)

Marina Grzinic

1990, 12:11 minutes, colour, English & Slovenian


Moscow Portraits is a video project which reconstructs the work and life of the great Russian avant-gardist, supremacist painter from the 1920s - Kasimir Malevich. His ideas and works are transformed through six bizarre portraits of a "man reading Malevich's book", portraits made by unknown street painters working on the street of Arbat in Moscow in 1989. This project is also a kind of homage to the first public presentation of Malevich paintings in the Soviet Union which happened in 1989 (when the portraits were made).

But this story is only a plot which gave Grzinic & Smid the possibility to develop a new video language and esthetic. The video is an important international collaborative project which unites artists from different countries (Canada, Japan, USA, Yugoslavia) and artistic fields. These artists were resident artists in The Banff Centre for the Arts in the 1990 program concerning Border Cultures.

The use of computer graphics and animation resulted in a specific esthetic, similar to cartoons, comic books, opera singers and Japanese artists who created a new conceptual video language of the 1990s. Remaking history? No, rather a simulation of its political and emotional coordinates.

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