Polite Guests From the Future
This work was conceived by Zhilyaev as part of the M.I.R.: Polite Guests from the Future exhibition. This iteration of the imagined Museum of Russian History (M.I.R.) is seen from a distant future standpoint. The Russian word ‘mir’ means both peace as well as ‘the world’, and is also the name of the first space station to ever orbit earth. In this Museum’s collection of histories and artifacts which depict the rise and eventual dominance of Russian Cosmic Federation over the charted Cosmos, central is this signature uniform of the cosmic militia. Fashioned in stellar camouflage and armed with a translucent replica of the infamous Kalashnikov rifle, this ensemble finds its roots in the ‘polite politics’ of Russia in the twenty first century.
Arseny Zhilyaev is arguably one of the most influential contemporary Russian Artists of his generation. For Zhilyaev, his medium of choice is the exhibition itself. His practice is deeply rooted in the study of presentation and display of artworks, histories and social processes. His multi-faceted installations combine historical fact with fiction in imagining new possibilities and futures. Inspired by Soviet and Marxist Museology, Zhilyaev often turns Russian Cosmism and its philosophies of the universal museum.
Arseniy Zhilyaev (born 1984 in Voronezh, Russia) is an artist, writer and political activist who lives and works in Moscow and Voronezh.
Zhilyaev’s artistic practice poses questions about the cultural production in the postsoviet condition.