QUEUE

QUEUE

“QUEUE”
2014
one-channel video
colour,
 sound
aspect ratio 16:9
full HD
9’21”

2017 Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
The ten minutes-long video Queue (2015) occupies a special place within Pirogova’s practice: it is the first time she engages in a sort of screen adaptation of a novel and it is also the only film to use text. The artist creates a meticulous and eloquent translation in movements of what she captured as gestures in Vladimir Sorokin’s description of a typical soviet queue through an endless quotation of people’s questions, remarks or angry statements. Pirogova’s imagery however is contemporary and so is the actors apparel, living out the references to time in the text. The queue becomes any queue then and now, fixing through bodily gestureс a state of mind that seems to persist to date. Snejana Krasteva

2016 Solo show “Focuses”, Manege, Moscow
Fragments of the eponymous novel by Vladimir Sorokin portraying the times of the scarce supplies of food and goods in the mid-1980s are accompanying the ritual motion within an infinite loop. It is a kind of the Tibetan Book of the Dead about people stuck in endless fuss over getting this or that. The flow of redundant chatter within the collective mind of the doomed is structured by the artist as a march with elements of tango. What is desired is void, and what is real is fragile, unstable. The Queue by Sasha Pirogova is a loop leaving no way to consciously get out and break up. The text, though belonging to a particular epoch, is cleared from references to the historical circumstances. At the same time, the work features real objects dating back to the 1980s and acquired recently. Interpretations may construe The Queue both as criticism of mass consumption and a metaphor of collective martyrdom where most mundane things come to be the symbols of passions. Valentin Diaconov

2015 Balagan!!! (part of the NORDWIND Festival), Kühlhaus and MOMENTUM gallery, Berlin
The video is based on Vladimir Sorokin’s novel “Queue” (1983), “a bizarrely funny saga of a quintessential Russian institution, the interminably long line” (NYT, 2011). Creating an absurdist choreography of hysterics, dependence and clanship, Pirogova takes pains to replay the text through dance to identify the queue as not a physical but a contemporary psycho-social condition. David Elliott