MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
MUSEUM "MOSCOW HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
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Anastasia Khoroshilova
Obedients

Anastasia Khoroshilova.
From “Obedients” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow.
© Anastasia Khoroshiliva Anastasia Khoroshilova.
From “Obedients” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow.
© Anastasia Khoroshiliva Anastasia Khoroshilova.
From “Obedients” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow.
© Anastasia Khoroshiliva

Anastasia Khoroshilova. From “Obedients” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow. © Anastasia Khoroshiliva

Anastasia Khoroshilova. From “Obedients” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow. © Anastasia Khoroshiliva

Anastasia Khoroshilova. From “Obedients” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow. © Anastasia Khoroshiliva

Moscow, 28.03.2009—26.04.2009

exhibition is over

Moscow Museum of Modern Art

Petrovka St., 25

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Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow

Courtesy Gallery Ernst Hilger, Vienna

Supported by Société Générale Vostok Bank

Collection of the artist, Berlin-Moscow

Courtesy Gallery Ernst Hilger, Vienna

Supported by Société Générale Vostok Bank

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The ‘Obidient’ series was photographed at a convent near Moscow (Holy Trinity Novo-Golutvin Convent, Kolomna) in 2008.

In my previous work (‘Islanders’, 2002–2005, and ‘The Narrow Circle’, 2007) I chose groups of people connected to a social institution in some way. One important condition can be observed in boarding schools, children’s homes, orphanages and faith-based educational establishments: procedures and rules of residency in the community are determined irrespective of the inclinations or desires of individuals living there. Just as the existence of such institutions depends not on the personal aspirations of an individual, but the requirements of society as a whole. I always perceived such ‘closed’ groups as ‘islands’ surrounded by an endlessly changing modern world.

Above all I was interested in ‘points of intersection’ between the global social space and the everyday setup or ‘statute’ of distinct social structures, as a rule constructed on the principle that there is no outside observation. Any ‘eyewitness testimony’ from an outsider unmasks the complex psychological constitution of mutual relations within the community and reveals individual characteristics or ‘tags’ identifying personality. This can temporarily liberate a person from conventions established within the given closed group and open a chink in the protective shell around them.

But in my portrayal of the convent different rules apply. Voluntary acceptance of the monastic way of life linked solely and undoubtedly to inner demand for religious Christian service forms a completely different system of relations with the ‘secular’ observer. Most likely this is an unobtrusive invitation to a dialogue whose length and depth depends more on the guest and his open-mindedness, his desire and ability to understand and evaluate the ‘exemplary’ nature of monastic existence.

It is precisely the simple and natural quality of monastic obedience in a convent setting with its own specific harmony that lay behind the idea and concept for ‘Obidient’.

The zeal, sincerity and noble humility of the ‘sisters’ unexpectedly struck me as indications of something incommensurably greater than the daily prayers and everyday concerns of monastic life, and individually this revealed something of a loftier and more general nature.

Anastasia Khoroshilova

With the support of

Bank Societe Generale Vostok