Natalia Timofeeva

20.03.2015 – 05.04.2015


Triumph Gallery, Moscow

Keywords — the project is a series of printed canvasses containing excerpts from PhD research titled The Moscow School of Egyptology During the Soviet Era. All of the texts were published in specialized peer-reviewed academic titles relating to issues in the history of science and academia. The list of these titles is not large: Vostok, Isotricheskie Zapiski, Vestnik RGGU. However, the necessity of these publications is clear.


The current Russian state standards in education are fairly high where the obtaining of a PhD in history is concerned. The first five works contain texts with completed narratives. The latter are compilations of texts that refer to the tradition of compiling articles together into a single body of work at the final stage of PhD research.


The data comprised within the project was collated over a period of 8 years. All of the sources are unpublished records from archives that were previously closed and classified. Personal correspondence of distinguished Soviet scientists draws out the circumstances under which they worked and conveys the spirit of their time. The dry, restrained academic language takes on a new meaning in the context of art. Text that is transferred into the format of a painting raises questions concerning the perception of text and its purpose. The content slips away, and quantity of alphabetical letters becomes overwhelming.


Integration of language into the domain of art is a well-established conceptualist practice. Thus, it is not originality that is important here, it is the fact that this is a personal text, a personal history, a personal experience… It is an illusion, a utopia, and a fragile attempt to build a dream world. It takes time to recognize the futility. The painful collapse of ideals brings disappointment and the lack of an outcome brings the effort expended into question.


Natalia Timofeeva