VIKTOR MAZIN and OLESYA TURKINA | A short history of Necrorealism in Leningrad-Saint Petersburg
Tuesday, 9 May 2017 | 6 p.m.

Photo: Yevgeny Yufit


You are kindly invited to attend the lecture by Olesya Turkina and Viktor Mazin on Tuesday, 9 May 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Seminar Room, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, +MSUM.


The lecture and the talk afterwards will be moderated by Renata Salecl.  


The radical movement Necrorealism emerged in Leningrad in the early 1980th at the height of stagnation period. It was born by the social revolt, the love of absurdism and forensic medicine books of reference. In the early 1980-s the father of movement Eugeny Yufit fixated imitation of psychopathic behavior on 16mm film, performed with the group of his associates guided by him — meaningless fights in suburbs and commuter rail, beating a mannequin in gateway of forsaken house. He invented zombi-make-up portraying his friends in black-and-white series of staged photos. Deviant collective actions, initiated by Yufit, were compared at that time with punk movement as well as with liberating energy of medieval carnival described by Mikhail Bakhtin. Yufit did not like both of those comparisons. He preferred personally invented necrorealist triad: dullness, impudence and mature. Necrorealist artists following this triad created pictures and installations on the morbid subject. Among them Vladimir Kustov and Sergey Srep continue necrorealist practice. In 1984 Yufit founded one of the first independent film studious in country — Mzhalalafilm. In 1989 he was invited in experimental workshop of Alexander Sokurov at Lenfilm studio, where he filmed his first 35mm film Knights of the Heavens. Since 1989 Yufit made seven full-length 35mm films along with series of black and white photos and pictures. His films revise social-technological progressist utopias of better future of a mankind, which were born in 1920-s and 1960-s. His protagonists were excluded from the social order. They were forced to wander around outskirts of big cities. Neither living, nor dead they wander around the remnants of worldwide capitalistic ideology that enslaves human beings no less than totalitarian regimes. More than for ten years Yufit dreamed of filming his next movie (the last one Bipedalism he made in 2005). The scenario was written, the place of filming was chosen. But the clampdown of capitalism turned out to be stronger than Soviet censorship. This movie would be never seen by anyone. Yufit died in December, 2016. Memento mori…


Organised by Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana in collaboration with MG+MSUM.




Olesya Turkina, Ph. D., critic and curator,  Senior Research Fellow at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Head of MA Program in Curatorial Studies and Associate Professor on the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University. She has worked on numerous exhibitions, including MIR: Made in the XXth Century at the Russian Pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennale, 1999; Evolution of the Image: Light. Sound. Material, State Russian Museum, 1996; Kabinet, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1997 (co-curated); Necrorealism, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 2011, The Life of the Remarkable Monroe, Novy Museum, St. Petersburg, 2014 (co-curated with Viktor Mazin), Apartment Art, Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg, Beyond Zero, Calvert 22, London, 2014. She has contributed to numerous publications. Her recent books Louise Bourgeois: Pandora's Box. Ad Marginem, Garage, M, 2015; The Life of the Remarkable Monroe (with Viktor Mazin), St. Petersburg, 2014; Soviet Space Dogs. Fuel Publishing House, London, 2014. Since 1999 she is a member of Russian Federation of Cosmonautics. She has worked on a series of films The Chain of Flowers (Levsha, 2000, The Common Task, 2004, The Great Soviet Eclipse, 2008) with the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles. Since 2012 she collaborated with KSEVT, co-organised Out of the Cradle’14 conference at St. Petersburg State University and Pulkovo Observatory of Russian Academy of Sciences. 


Dr. Viktor Mazin, Ph.D., psychoanalyst, art and cinema critic, founder of Freud's Dreams Museum in St.Petersburg (1999). Curated numerous exhibitions in Russia, Finland, Germany, USA. He is editor-in-chief of the Kabinet art & science journal, and also member of the editorial boards of the journals: Psychoanalysis (Kiev), European Journal of Psychoanalysis (Rome), Transmission (Sheffield), Journal for Lacanian Studies (London). Teaching cinema theory and art criticism in State University of St.Petersburg, honorary professor of the Institute of Depth Psychology (Kiev), head of the department of theoretical psychoanalysis at the East-European Institute of Psychoanalysis (St.Petersburg). Member of the scientific committee of the Freud Foundation. Author of numerous articles and books on psychoanalysis, deconstruction and visual arts. Articles published in English, Dutch, German, French, Japanese.