29.03.2019 – 21.04.2019
ММОМА (Gogolevsky Blvd, 10/2), Moscow
Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Triumph Gallery present the project by the Agency of Singular Investigations (ASI) "Flower Power. Archive". The new artwork by Stanislav Shuripa and Anna Titova tells the story of a secret society, active in the late Soviet Union. It promoted ideas dating as far back as the 18th century, ideas that had been captivating the enlightened minds across the world for several centuries. The project features documents uncovered by the ASI research team in the Leningrad Region in an abandoned summerhouse community as well as historical data and reconstructed objects based on the investigation materials. The found archive is used to recreate a special world once inhabited by these "guerrilla fighters of the spirit". The group was called Flower Power, to underscore its relation to the global counterculture and due to its fundamental belief in magical-political properties of certain flowers, namely their mysterious power to influence political events.
The exposition immerses the audience into a space of alternate history. Flower Power origins can be traced back to previously unknown research by the Enlightenment-era scientists in magical-political botany. Originally a circle of the initiated, Flower Power was evolving throughout the 19th century to eventually become an international network on a clandestine mission against tyranny and war. In the first half of the last century, the organization faced a series of challenges. This included elimination of its sleeper cells in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and their reinstatement during the "thaw" period. At its later stage, the organization adopted the tactic of radical "passivism", limiting its activities to holding collective parapsychological sessions. In the late 1980s, Flower Power gained in influence as different countries had new people coming to power who were considered to have ties to the organization. Nonetheless, the advances of reactionary forces at the turn of the century led Flower Power to concede its complete defeat and disband.
In the project "Flower Power. Archive", the ASI explores the possibilities of historical reconstruction. The exhibition covers the milestones of the organization's history and its unsung struggle, and presents unique hard evidence of Flower Power activities: documents, printed materials, personal belongings, household items and artefacts used in political-magical rites and mysteries. Similarly to other projects by the ASI, a critical look at the visual discourse of general and local history museums blurs the boundaries between the imaginary and the non-fictional, history and dreams, reconstructions and originals, images and events, letting the viewers see past events that have been hidden and ignored by the establishment historical narrative.