Moscow City Government
Moscow Department of Culture
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Triumph Gallery

Date: February, 1st — March, 22nd 2020
Venue: MMOMA Educational Center, 17, ERMOLAEVSKY LANE

Curator: Yulia Aksenova

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Triumph gallery present a multipart project POLYCHRONICITY. PRACTICE OF STUDIES IN THE TEMPORAL MODES OF CONTEMPORANEITY, with the participation of foreign and Russian artists and art theorists. The second part of the project at the MMOMA Educational Center will be Dima Filippov’s solo exhibition Looking for an Elephant summing up his art practices of the four recent years and dealing with the search of lost fragments of historical past and the formation of personal historical memory.

In the heart of Dima Filippov’s art is always the artist’s own life, his personal experience and memories. Thus, even when exploring fragments of bygone times and events of distant past, he narrates them from the point of view of an individual, with his memories blurry and fragmentary, not from the perspective of impersonal official history. Thus, the plot of the Looking for an Elephant exhibition revolves around a vivid childhood experience of seeing a picture by some unknown artist. The image of an elephant striding amid the mountains impressed the boy so much that it defined his future life choices. This image has crystallized into the artist’s personal metaphor embodying the ‘wrinkles of time’ between past and future and has become a recurring motif in Dima Filippov’s art.

The display will be turned into a sort of diorama filled with plywood silhouettes and landscape fragments around them made of paintings, texts, videos and objects. Unlike the ‘classical diorama’, which with utmost precision recreates real events, having all its characters interconnected and playing a certain role in the general whole, in Filippov’s works characters are alienated from their environment; their existence extends beyond a specific plot. They all have lost their way in other worlds, in their own memories, within the space of temporal gaps.

In his research missions to different regions of the Altais, Kazakhstan and Siberia, the artist sets off on the quest of lost fragments of historical past and traces of its memory, the mission that defines his very artistic method. Thus, an artwork Expedition (2017) recreates one day of a trip to Kazakhstan down a memory lane of the artist’s childhood. Filippov headed to the hill totally covered with sunflowers that caught his imagination as a boy. Despite the precise geographic focus of his art, the artist’s works are often devoid of clear specifics or any details of the real time and place, as for example in the Island of the Dead video (2018) that documents the artist’s journey to one of the island cemeteries he visited while being in the Altai. Besides, the exhibition will feature Dima Flippov’s book describing his journey through photos of places where he went in search of his very own elephant and through fragments of memories.


Dima Filippov is a contemporary Russian artist and curator. He was born in Gornyak in the Altai Krai in 1989. He studied at the Altai Academy of Arts and Culture and then graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow, in 2012. Since 2012 Dima has been a co-organizer and curator of the Elekrozavod gallery, Moscow. Since 2017 he has been collaborating on the Expedition project, which is a long-term research platform intended for studying different Russian regions.

He has participated in special projects, being part of the 4th and 5th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art, the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial and the 15th Istanbul Biennial. Dima is also an author writing for the magazines Artistic, et al. The artist has presently been engaged in field works and artistic explorations of the Russian border regions, organizing exhibitions in the fields, wastelands and former factories.

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