Tetiana Tolstaya and Lana Godoberidze about Larisa Zvezdochetova artworks. 1993.

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Zvezdochetova also takes part in a magic turnover of everyday kitch objects, childhood memories, and high art clichés. She has said that she wants to recover in her work everything that art ignored amateur embroidery by provincial women on collective farms, 1950s postcards, “deer” carpets from communal apartments, matchbox labels showing the battleship Aurora, chocolate foil wrappers (fantiki) bearing Ivan Shishkin’s classic paintings Three Bears, badges with the logo “Be Ready for Labor and Defense” and gilded athlete covered with rust, black-and-white reproductions of Nefertiti, the beauty queen of ancient Egypt, who became the most popular Soviet pinup after Ernest Hemingway. All of those poshlye objects, the petite-bour-geois “domestic trash” scorned from 1920s to 1960s, but also reproductions of high art tom out of popular magazines. In her works “the feminine” and bad taste“ are places within question marks and creativity reinterpreted.

A dialogue with the avan-garde and, between the lines, with same Soviet conceptualists of the older generation – is played out in same of her key works. Her installation with fragile paper angels hanging from trees, pragmatically titled The End of the Avan-Guarde, was presented at the exhibition “Artart – Beyond the Fence” in 1983. The angels, cut out of white paper like the ready-made snowflakes familiar to all Russian schoolchildre’s art turn-of-the-century muss culture, with was populared by angels, “fat flirtatious cupids”, and the other whimsical winged creatures against witch the avan-guardists fought so ferociously (Malevich 123). The flimsy angels in the natural settings signal the end of the seriousness and stylistic purity of the newly fetishist historical avant-guarde. In her work Zvezdochetova wants to confront high avan-guarde culture, predicated on ordinary, with everyday culture – the mass – reproduced and repetitive female arts and crafts, the communal apartment decorations, the Soviet wallpaper designs that frame one’s memories of childhood.