Lia Rumma Gallery is pleased to present the fifth solo exhibition of German artist Tobias Zielony, opening on Thursday 1st March, 2018 in the Milan Gallery.
The exhibition presents for the first time in Italy, Maskirovka, the project realized by Zielony between 2016 and 2017, in the city of Kiev, and recently exhibited in the solo show Haus der Jugend at the Kunsthalle von der Heydt in Wuppertal.
"Maskirovka" literally means "masking" and indicates a military doctrine developed in the Soviet Union since 1920s, based on measures of camouflage, denial and deception to confuse the enemy. Recently, the term "Maskirovka" has been used to indicate Russian policy towards Ukraine, the military operations in Crimea and the hybrid state of war, never officially declared, which followed the protests of the Maidan in 2013 and still ongoing.
The Maskirovka project, whose central theme is “disguising” in its various forms, includes a photographic series and a video where Zielony investigates the queer and techno underground scene in Kiev, in the context of the current Ukrainian crisis.
In the stop-motion animation, presented on the ground floor of the Gallery, the sight moves continuously between socio-political contexts and scenes of the young people’s private lives. The photographs focus instead on the gestures and poses of the teenagers, portrayed alone or in group, in domestic spaces or marginal environments.
The masking theme establishes a parallel between the political situation and the intimate stories revealed by the photographs. It suggests at the same time the camouflage of the Russian special forces - "the green men" - sent to Crimea in 2014, the use of masks by the protesters of the Maidan to hide their identity and protect their faces from tear gas, but it is also a meaningful moment of the party ritual, in a game of simulations and identity exchange.
In those works Zielony portrays the underground scene of techno and LGBTQI movements of the Ukrainian capital. A scene that has developed on the background of the confused and oppressive political situation of the last few years, and which has somehow gathered many of the energies and dreams of the young generations.
A double slide show, Haus der Jugend, and a 8mm film, Alles (Chemnitz), complete the exhibition on the second floor of the Gallery.