TOTART: Natalia Abalakova & Anatoly Zhigalov



(Machine Providing Joys of Paradise)



The work was done with support of Sergey Solovyov, Vladimir Sumovsky, Sergey Volgin, Eva and Sergey Khlusevich


Moscow International Forum of Art Initiatives 2004. Novy Manege.

2005 – Independent Art of S.-Petersburg of the second half of the XX century. ‘Manege’, S.-Petersburg.


Project “Exploration into the Essence of Art as Applyed to Life and Art” (TOTART)



Paradise comes and goes

Hell is always with you

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            Life is a kind of medium kingdom between the extremes of Death and Joys of Paradise. The attutude towards that intermediary state has always been dual. If for some people it is the essence of life for others it is pure hell. As they say, whatever makes the German happy might kill the Russian. Both the aforsaid polar oppositions coexist in Art. The superfluity of heavenly bliss can be compared to the experience of death. But you cannot live through death. It is the limit set for life.

            The Soviet system has created the ideal model of the heavenly bliss – the line. You have to suffer before you reach the joys of paradise. Too bad! There no more lines. They were replaced by the right to observe freely the heavenly glitter of the consumption society showcase. “ParadiZoo Machine” offered by TOTART takes into consideration the Russian specifics. It transforms the economic model “commodity-money-commodity” into the creative model: the suffering(of the artist and those willing to suffer)-registing/spying eye of the digital camera- registered/spyed by the camera eye (virtualisation of environment)-resulting medial image (of trade mark). TOTART provides total generalization, but ParadiZoo Machine has practical application. For example, big chain shops can offer added value: the buyer who has made purchases for the set amount of money will have the right (free of charge) to be hunged by his/her feet so that beyond the world of goods he/she could see the transformed essence of things, the event to be registered with cameras by the kneeling salesgirls under the supervision of the manager standing nearby, to appear on all the monitors so that other buyers could partake with owe the elevated state of the chosen one.


TOTART: Actions, performances. Installations