'Outdoors, gunpowder burns quietly' installation


digital collage (print on textile; print on metal); video; performance




The title of this installation cites a soviet book on pyrotechnics and mass celebrations, which played an important part in socialist political imaginaries. The works installed at Annenstrasse 53, are imbricated in Sosnovskaya’s ongoing research, which investigates the collective movements, protest choreographies, and politics of celebration. The works depart from the texts describing and archival materials from official socialist festivities, as well as Sosnovkaya’s personal experience of the recent political movements and raving during the time of post-socialism. Where rhymes, failures are revealed in the collision of different images and narratives through montage and quotation, special effects of powerpoint aesthetics are superimposed onto the affects of language and its insufficiency, tracing the multiple temporalities of political action.

“Exercise” (digital collage, print on textile, 2021) explores relationship between language, affect and political movements through the concept of “movement scores” in the context of the 2020-21 anti-governmental uprising in Belarus, and other political events in post-socialist history. It approaches the post-socialist temporality critically, through a complex non-unified experience of various desires, actions, imaginations, and potentialities. “Outdoors, gunpowder burns quietly. In a closed space gunpowder explodes” (digital collage, print on metal, 2016) refers to the idea that fireworks and gunpowder used in the military are parts of the same power and ideological constellations. “The F-Word” (video, 12:10, 2021; in collaboration with a.z.h.) addresses political struggle, police and state violence through the discourse of fascism during 2020-21 anti-governmental uprising in Belarus, tracing the political, social, affective and symbolic effects it produced. The video is part of the “Armed and Dangerous” project and platform initiated by Mykola Ridnyi (Ukraine).
After the brutal suppression of the 2020-21 uprising through continuous repressions and with Russia’s support of the regime, Belarusian territory and infrastructures are now being used for Russia's war on Ukraine, what raises new urgent questions on the collective agency and strategies of political action.


Annenstrasse 53 (Graz, Austria)

Photo Credit: Simon Oberhofer