A Joyful Archipelago was an exhibition showing works of ten Russian-born female artists, living in London and New York, curated by Olga Grotova. A starting point for the exhibition is a semi-fictional account of a closed town N the unique feature of which was a ban of all mass media from its inception, building a wall of communicational isolation around it. Closed administrative-territorial formations or “closed cities” begun forming in USSR from 1940s onwards as bases for military, industrial or scientific facilities, and some still exist in Russia today. Those cities had no names, were not shown on maps and access to them was not allowed without proper authorisation. The exhibition is an investigation of the role of community activities in an individual-centred society. The artists will explore life in places with authoritarian regime, world’s history of formation of opposition and governments’ control of mass media.
The participating artists are: Yelena Popova, Taus Makhacheva, Maria Gruzdeva, Daria Irincheeva, Natalia Skobeeva, Ariadne Aivazovsky, Elena Gavrisch, Maria Kapajeva, Tatiana Baskakova and Olga Grotova.