Vyacheslav Akhunov
Antrepo No.3
Tobacco Warehouse 1 & 2
Feriköy Greek School

Born in 1948, Och. Lives in Tashkent.

Vyacheslav Akhunov is an artist, writer and philosopher, whose work comprises collages, paintings, installations, performances, actions and video, as well as numerous essays and novels. From a peripheral position in Tashkent he has been reworking the experiences of 1970s Moscow conceptualism and in the 1980s organised pioneering happenings and actions.
From 1974 to 1987 Akhunov worked on a series of collages that used iconography typical of socialist propaganda. Lenin's Plan of Monumental Propaganda (1976-83), Leniniana (1977-82) and The Doubts (1976) are all dedicated to the revolutionary leader Lenin. The artist uses many sources to make his collages: books, art magazines, newspapers, albums, and posters. In Leniniana, representations of the famous leader are inserted into minimal drawings, creating an imaginary 'political' landscape. The Doubts is a series of watercolours that are faithful small-scale replicas of original political propaganda posters. The only intervention is the addition of a question mark at the end of political slogans whose very validity is then brought into question. Stamps starts from a variety of social realist paintings, documentary photographs and propaganda posters featuring the USSR Communist Party leaders (Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev, Chernenko). Stencils with different political slogans and minimal interventions by the artist surround the designs. By deconstructing the language of political rhetoric the series outlines the narrative of the political history of the USSR. Another series of collage-drawings, Fly-Beat Revolution (1977), uses the design of hand-held flyswatters as a backdrop against which the artist places state signs and symbols, portraits of revolutionary figures and members of the Politburo.
1 m2 (2007) is an installation of one square metre of matchboxes, and is probably the largest retrospective exhibition displayed in such a small space. The matchboxes are filled with the artist's small-scale reproductions, drawings and plans taken from his numerous journals and albums from 1976 to 1991. On a monitor available for detailed viewing there is an archive of Akhunov's journals and artist's books.
Akhunov's works push the aesthetics of Soviet propaganda to the limits, and open up a number of questions that go beyond ironic subversion of the ideological apparatus. They form an archive that has a relationship to the past, beyond that of revisionism or nostalgia, and their relationship with communism remains open.