Previously on view in the Amsterdam Biennale: Katja Sokolova, Olga Jitlina

St. Petersburg Pavilion

Thank Adam

Open from 5 December 2009 - 3 January 2010 in the Amsterdam Biennale 2009 at Mediamatic.

While visiting Ancient department of the Hermitage, we suddenly noticed that there was some strange energy coming from one sarcophagus, which belonged to a Egyptian military leader. Later, trying to define it, we agreed that it felt very much like male sexual drive. It was so strong that we could literally feel it flowing. Some sort of cosmic male power, which turns planets around, destroys lives and breaks hearts and, at the same time, inspires and moves people and things forward.


O Muse, O high genius! - The St. Petersburg Pavilion, curators: Olga Jitlina & Katja Sokolova. Dec 5 - Jan 3 2009/10, in the Amsterdam Biennale at Mediamatic. Raphael Rehbach

Both of us have always been greatly influenced and inspired by men – friends, lovers, colleagues, artists and rock musicians- in our lives. That's why we've got interested in the idea of the muse, which is very typical for St. Petersburg literary and art context, with its its strong classical traditions. City’s museums and parks are crowded with statues of classical muses, but what about contemporary ones? How has the muse evolved? We would also like to reflect on the change of roles in the society. Who inspires whom nowadays, and how?

In this exhibition, we are exploring the idea of the muse from a heterosexual female perspective. We have asked young St.Petersburg artists to search for male muses that make them strong, give them hope, make them laugh, or piss them off. With this exhibition, we are trying to make rather a research than a statement, to see how the young women from nowadays Russia reflect on gender issues. And we are happy to notice that, unlike many “female artists” shows, our exhibition seem to display more admiration and (un)healthy humor than vulnerability and trauma.

May Egyptians help us.

Curators: Olga Jitlina, Katja Sokolova

Participating artists:
Alena Chendler
Olga Jitlina
Svetlana Mihailova
Veronika Rudjeva-Ryazantseva
Katya Sytnik