February 2, 2018 - Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston - Anton Vidokle: Immortality for All: A Film Trilogy on Russian Cosmism
February 2, 2018

Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston

Anton Vidokle, This Is Cosmos (still), 2014. HD video, 28:10 minutes.

Anton Vidokle
Immortality for All: A Film Trilogy on Russian Cosmism
February 17–August 11, 2018

Opening: February 16, 6–9pm
Curatorial talk: February 16, 6:30–7pm

Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston
120 Fine Arts Building
Houston, Texas 77204
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–5pm

T +1 713 743 9521
infoblaffer@uh.edu

blafferartmuseum.org
Facebook / Instagram

Russian Cosmism was founded by Nikolai Federov (1829–1903), an eccentric Moscow librarian and teacher. The ultimate goal of technology, he posited, must be to overcome mortality and, eventually, to resurrect the dead. Combining ideas from the Western Enlightenment, Eastern philosophy, Orthodox Christianity and Marxism, this utopian philosophy infiltrated a wide range of disciplines until it was driven underground by Stalinism in the late 1920s.

Cosmism inspired artists and architects associated with the Suprematist and Constructivist movements, who used abstract symbols and new industrial materials to imagine a radically new world after the Bolshevik Revolution. Fedorov’s belief that outer space must be colonized to relieve a world overflowing with immortals is also believed to have influenced his former student Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), founder of the Soviet space program.

Immortality for All: A Film Trilogy on Russian Cosmism explores Cosmism’s influence on the twentieth century and its relevance to the present day. It scans Siberian, Kazakh and far-northern White Sea landscapes for Cosmism’s influences in the remains of Soviet-era art, architecture and engineering, and reimagines a Moscow museum as a cosmist mausoleum. In part one, This Is Cosmos, 2014, Vidokle searches for the foundations of Cosmist thought, which he says, are “to construct a new reality, free of hunger, disease, violence, death, need, and inequality—like communism.” Part two, The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun, 2015, explores the solar cosmology of biophysicist Alexander Chizhevsky (1897-1964), who linked the sun’s radiation to human psychology, sociology and politics. And part three, Immortality and Resurrection for All!, 2017, filmed in a variety of Moscow galleries, libraries and zoological institutions, reimagines the museum as a site of resurrection and communion with the dead.

Music by John Cale accompanies Vidokle’s haunted imagery, suggesting the yearnings for connection, social equality, physical and material transformation and immortality at the heart of Cosmist thought.
 

Anton Vidokle (b. Russia) is an artist and editor of e-flux journal, based in New York and Berlin. Vidokle’s work has been exhibited internationally at Documenta 13 and the 56th Venice Biennale. His films have been screened at Bergen Assembly; Shanghai Biennale; Istanbul Biennial; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Berlinale International Film Festival; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Gwangju Biennale; Locarno Festival; Centre Pompidou; Tate Modern; Haus Der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) among others.

Related
Share
More
Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston
Share - Anton Vidokle
Immortality for All: A Film Trilogy on Russian Cosmism
  • Share
Close
Next