CHILD’S PLAY

“Playfulness” might not be the first word that comes to mind when you try to describe Russian museum culture. But a look inside Saint Petersburg’s Puppet Museum could prompt you to think twice before dismissing a ludic streak. “Every child’s fantasy place,” reads one enthusiastic online review; “it might look small and weird from the outside, but once you’re inside, it’s a fairytale.” A fairytale, perhaps – albeit a puzzling one, as Saint Petersburg native Sasha Chaika’s series of photos attests. In his work Chaika photographs the weirder corners of “post-post-Soviet” society. Here, alternating images of humans and dolls raise the question of which is which: the living subjects often seem more artificial than the marionettes themselves, like an analogue uncanny valley. The effect is disorienting, even paranoiac, as our “natural” perceptions are reversed. It’s also camp: both animate and inanimate subjects/objects are kitsch pushed to its limits, frivolity and intentional artifice aimed at upsetting conventional tastes.

Deeper

  • And in the LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS, Christian Lorenzen on how the Internet of the 90s shaped Edward Snowden: “Connections were slow, internet users pseudonymous, and the rooms where they chatted self-regulating and unmonitored. It was a zone of freedom and forgiveness where identities could be picked up and discarded without consequence.”

  • New Arrivals

    Buffalo by 032c Over The Knee Boot

    €600
    Buy Now
  • 032c READY-TO-WEAR LAUNCH

    Last week in London we launched our first ready-to-wear collection at Browns East, including a BUFFALO LONDON BY 032c collaboration. Little Simz, Danny Lomas, and Sophia Hadjipanteli joined 032c apparel creative director Maria Koch, fashion director Marc Goehring, and sales director Nunguja Kisalya for pizza, drinks, and dancing. See our snaps below.More
  • On Power, Picasso, and American People: An Interview with FAITH RINGGOLD

    Half a century before the latest protests at the Whitney Museum of Art, Faith Ringgold was there, in front of the museum alongside other activists demanding equitable representation of women and black artists in the institution’s exhibitions. As a painter she was influenced, as the European modernists she studied in college were, by the masks she saw while traveling in Africa in the 1970s. But she would never wear a mask herself. More
  • CHILD’S PLAY

    Misshapen noses, frozen expressions and close-up shots of faded pink glitter create a grotesque ambiguity between animate and inanimate - as seen in this photoshoot conceived by Sasha Chaika, documenting Saint Petersburg’s bizarre Puppet Museum.More
  • UNPROFESSIONAL. INTIMATE. A LITTLE BIT LIKE A READYMADE.

    "Social media and society have something to do with the public square and having conversations and shared spaces. This project is a bit more running out into that space and shouting something out then running away. It's definitely a public statement, but there's no conversation really." Richard Turley and Lucas Mascatello on the possibility of intimacy in the New York-themed broadsheet CIVILIZATION. More