The Forgotten Trial of S. Mzhachikh
Date: March 18 – April 18, 2021
Venue: Vadim Sidur Museum, 37A Novogireyevskaya Str.

Curated by Maria Doronina and Sergey Guskov

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Vadim Sidur Museum invite you to the documentary exhibition — The Forgotten Trial of S. Mzhachikh. The project explores some of the relatively unknown events in the Russian history, which took place during one of its most mysterious periods, the beginning of the 21st century. One of the many strange and unpredictable, yet commonplace, stories of Russia’s recent past shows how events and phenomena, once overlooked and just suddenly discovered, can turn out to be real gems buried in the sand.

The story takes place in the early twenty-first century and is set at a funeral parlor equipped as a film studio, which is about to be taken over by violent entrepreneurs. A team of enthusiasts, determined to make an art house film in a Soviet setting, delves into the realities of the USSR recent past in search of inspiration and pulls out a whole garland of shimmering episodes, each one pointing to a particular time and place, as well as a series of mysterious circumstances.

In an attempt to untangle a knot of strange facts and incidents, the filmmakers venture deeper into the economically stagnant 1970s, travel to the east of Moscow, to discover the work of Vadim Sidur and learn about the mysterious court case in Krivoy Rog. In the course of the filming and archival research, images of a hole that sometimes materializes into actual pitfalls appear more and more frequently. Intertwining facts and fiction, actual events and dreams hypnotize our heroes.

Drawing on a body of archival documents, photographs, and texts, the curators recreate the events that occurred 20 years ago and, together with the viewer, embark on an amazing journey through the memories of their witnesses.

About the Exhibition Curators:

Maria Doronina (b. 1987) is an art historian, curator and researcher at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). She is a graduate of the Department of History and Theory of Art, Faculty of History at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (2009) and of the Moscow Institute for Contemporary Art (2010). In 2012-2013, she received a DAAD scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Foundation.
Co-curator of the General Rehearsal project (2018), a regional project of the MMOMA Where Will I Be? (Peace Square Museum Center, Krasnoyarsk, 2018), Collective Symptom. Art in the Field of Social Sensibility exhibition (MMOMA, 2019). Assistant curator at the exhibitions: One Inside the Other. Art of New and Old Media in the Age of High-Speed Internet (2015-2016), The Perfect Age (2018), Personal Approach. Artists’ Halls at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2018), 10+7. Hits of the Collection / History of the Show (2017-2018), Don’t You Think It’s Time for Love? (2016-2017) as part of the Human Condition Project.

Sergey Guskov ( b. 1983) is a journalist, art critic, and curator. He graduated from the Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages. Since 2017, he has been a columnist and editor of the Dialogue of Arts magazine. He headed the website (2011-2012) and the Art section of the (2013-2017). He has written articles for Art Magazine, Artforum, Kommersant Weekend, Vedomosti, Art Cinema, Art, ArtChronicle, ArtGuide, The Calvert Journal, The Art Newspaper Russia, ArtReview Asia, RBC, Metropolis M, LEAP,, Art21, Discord, Center for Experimental Museology, Ocula, Obieg, Interview Russia. Curated exhibitions: Untitled by Varvara Gevorgizova and Birches and Ghosts by Maria Doronina at Appendix Space (both 2017). Co-curator at the virtual exhibition Your Gift is Very Important to Us (Art Dialogue magazine #6/2019, together with N. Bereznitskaya, S. Gusarova and A. Rudyk).