THE CIRCUS 17
CIRCUS 17 presents a new take on what happened in the Russian Empire in 1917 during the February and the October Revolutions, as well as on the politics in general and revolution as social fact.
Using the techniques of the classical Greek tragedy, retrospective and visionary art, artist Uldus Bakhtiozina approaches the revolution as a circus performance typical for early 20th century. The actors on the arena present the generalised character of key revolutionary ideologists and participants. Having met the actors, the audience apprehends that history is a recurring spiral, where the border between the past and the present is gradually wearing away, and then they see that the audience is still the same. They see that they are the fundamental of the performance, and they never change. Selfcognition is not intended for the actors, it is for the audience, for the spectators to ask questions and resist propaganda and agitation by opposite leagues, and retain their uniqueness, their will to truth, and determination.
Using video installation (screening 9 minutes film through 3 screens) and photo works, Uldus warns the spectators against indifference and herd mentality. Transferring her images to monochrome, the artist emphasises four powers: the red one that represents revolutionaries, the white one that personifies the white movement, the golden one that stands for religion, and the beige one, almost colorless, incarnating indifference of the major part of the society. Every color takes up its faith and truth, and none of the shades can’t be removed from this palette.
Even if the bleak blur is removed, the palette will get half as large, as, in fact, all the extensive things that shape other details are pictured with it. In this project, the colors work as signals for the audience, they are entwined and opposed to each other, inviting to feel the metaphor of color and sound, to get through all the thorny four-color palette.