Forthcoming dawn

Public laundries were part of a utopian urban planning that traces back to constructivist commune houses where all aspects of private life had to be shared. This intention revealed itself in the architecture of the houses of the new type that were built starting from the late 1920-s where different private activities were supposed to be performed publicly. Thus appeared the famous soviet canteens or laundries that lasted in the russian cities until the fall of the Soviet Union, when the city-life became much more individualized and secluded.
The project of Arseniy Zhilyaev is an attempt to reenact this long disappeared practice into a new and unusual context. This art work suggests the creation of an authentic public space within the Venetian Island: the system of laundries is supposed to offer a functioning service at the disposal of the local community. The main question is if art can reject its artificiality in favor of the real life production and if the exhibition space can blur its borders with the external environment. For Zhilyaev art practice should be a gesture of shifting towards another territory where and open democratic project can become relevant for the local socio-political situation.
Forthcoming Dawn it's an imaginary underground network of people reunited against the contemporary art system that looks like a screenplay from Hollywood blockbuster movies about the future of the radical political groups. The art-projects are produced as part of a big narrative derived from the tradition of soviet conceptual literature. Zhilyaev tries to push storytelling into real life.

Silvia Franceschini,
Katerina Chuchalina