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Moscow City Government
Elena Demidova. MATRESHKALAND
All activities of Elena Demidova, a Moscow-based artist and a director of the Strange Dreams Theater, are related with representation of the body of her own or of another person, in the theater or in the gallery. Demidova studied performance art in the Laboratory of Media Performance (Free Workshops). She participated in the Laboratory of Joseph Beuys Theatre. She was engaged in contemporary choreography in the International Center for Dance and Performance TSEKH. In 2004, together with A.Bartenev and I.Isaev, she published the Russian Body Art Anthology «People in Paints».
In her reflections on the body, the artist has turned to the Russian matreshka, an object, an embodiment of corporeality as such. Elena Demidova asserts that the matreshka is not just a traditional toy; it is rather a physical embodiment of the archetype of the Russian man. Keeping in mind this supposition, the artist talks about peculiarities of the Russian soul. She «tests the strength», searches for vulnerabilities, «checks personal and civil links between individuals», «diagnoses behavioral and cultural stereotypes», as well as tries to find «the limits of cultural decay of the nation».
Elena Demidova thinks that the Russian society is based on the «root system of corruption», which is to be researched and even changed, through radical experiments on matreshkas. The artist considers that the goal of the ambitious research is to find physical, ethical and moral limits of the individual and the whole society.
The Matreshkaland exhibition presents the results of the experiments.