Pavel Otdelnov’s “Industrial Zone” exhibition views. Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow. 2019

Exhibition “Industrial Zone”

Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

30.01.2019 — 10.03.2019

Pavel Otdelnov won fame in the 2010s thanks to his urban landscapes — images of the city fringes, of office and shopping centres, power lines, roads and landfills. Over time, his painted projects came to be complemented by a research part, which the author executes in the form of small essays. Work on the “Industrial Zone” project began in 2015. For it, the artist turned to the history of his own family, closely connected with Dzerzhinsk — a town in the Nizhny Novgorod region with many active and abandoned chemical industry facilities. The memoirs of his relatives and friends, archival materials and the results of field studies formed the basis of a series of paintings, installations and films. In a text accompanying the project, Otdelnov writes: “The recent past has ended up being as good as erased. Gigantic factories have left mere ruins. Almost no trace remains of the working settlement which my ancestors lived in. The stories that my grandmother recalls seem like fairy tales. My project is about forgetting, about how real historical events turn into myths, and how nature conquers what man has created. Saplings sprout up through concrete slabs and destroy buildings. Soviet history, which arose as a myth in the first place, has now turned into ancient ruins, never having been made reality.”

The website was made to support the project.