by: Sasha Pirogova

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2014, video (HD), 9’21”, color, sound, 16:9 | Courtesy: the artist

To recreate the atmosphere of waiting, that is essential for the piece, the artist has decided to set screening times, which limit the availability of her work. The work can be seen online every week from Tuesday 00:01 A.M. to Thursday 11:59 P.M. (MST).

Queue by Sasha Pirogova aims to visualize Vladimir Sorokin’s The Queue. In the novel, Sorokin proposes that the act of waiting in line – as a result of the distortions of the socialist planned economy – had a profound impact on life in Soviet Russia. A comical cacophony of unexpected pieces of conversation from within a typical soviet queue makes up this implied critique of Russian bureaucracy and planned distribution. In Pirogova’s work, which is her only work to date using text, the same, monotonous voice reminiscent of an amplified announcer delivers the lines of dialog of different characters. The queue thus acts as an entity that seems to synchronize individual remarks into a uniform stream of announcements. Within the body of the queue, however, several types of practices are observable: goods are exchanged, children raised, pop-culture consumed, and networks fabricated. Pirogova actualizes Sorokin’s work not only aesthetically, she also leaves out the author’s explicit references to his own time. With this, the artist proposes an ongoing relevance to reflecting on waiting: a situation that is able to link close, intimate introspection with the alienating situation of the masses standing in line.

Sasha Pirogova was born in Moscow and holds a degree in physics from Moscow State University as well as an artistic degree in video and new media from the Moscow Rodchenko Art School. She has received several prizes in recent years, including the Innovation Prize (New Generation) in 2014 and the Kandinsky Young Artist Prize – Project of the Year in 2017. Her work explores bodily movement at the intersection of art and the everyday and often includes dance and acoustic experiments. Alongside Grisha Bruskin and Recycle Group, she represented Russia at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.