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Irina Nakhova

12 SELECTED INSTALLATIONS 1994–2004

DADDY NEEDS TO RELAX

DADDY NEEDS TO RELAX

DADDY NEEDS TO RELAX

DADDY NEEDS TO RELAX

DADDY NEEDS TO RELAX

DADDY NEEDS TO RELAX

1996

Video screen, armchair with audio pillow, plaster pillows with printed images, various sizes, approx. 20 x 45 x 65 cm, rope, two mechanical balls

Nakhova’s installation – American in form and Moscovite in content – brilliantly combines the objectives of contemporary art with relationships typical of the Moscow art scene. This produced the unforgettable character of Joseph Backstein, sleeping hard on a big projection screen. He personifies the role of a «godfather» in the Moscow Conceptualist Mafia. Backstein’s exploits are represented by the rows of pillows on the floor, with horrific images taken from forensic medicine, referring to the renascent «theatre of cruelty». Nakhova takes up motifs of estrangement and catharsis. The pillows, made of plaster, endanger the viewers’ feet. Those who manage to slip through this maze of dreams generated by Backstein deserve to relax. They may sit comfortably in the armchair facing the sleeping Backstein, watch the magic balls rolling around below the screen and listen to a sweet Italian song. Nakhova says her idea was «to crush the viewer to a pulp, because if the viewer is a rigid construct, he or she cannot perceive anything at all».

Andrej Kovalev (excerpts of the essay «Palpating the Fictions», first published in: Segodnya, August 14, 1996)

MOSCOW CONCEPTUALISM

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