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Andrei Monastyrski, Self-Portrait 2001, 2012, C-print, 14 3/4 x 19 5/8". From the series “Self-Portraits,” 2012.

Andrei Monastyrski

Charim Galerie

Andrei Monastyrski, Self-Portrait 2001, 2012, C-print, 14 3/4 x 19 5/8". From the series “Self-Portraits,” 2012.

All day long and half the night, Andrei Monastyrski and his dog wander through the city. It’s cold in Moscow, the ground covered with snow. To make his photo series “Self-Portraits,” 2012, the charismatic cofounder (with Nikita Alekseev, Georgi Kizevalter, and Nikolai Panitkov) of the Collective Actions (Kollektivnye deistviya) group inserted his own image into random urban settings, posing as stiffly as Pinocchio. In Self-Portrait 2001, he’s flipped up the visor of his fur cap and stares into the camera with wide-open eyes. Generically the gesture signifies fear, horror, or surprise, but Monastyrski makes it veer off into grotesque comedy and slapstick. With this ostentatious show of outrage, he responds to the repressive atmosphere of the Soviet era, when artists either withdrew to private apartments or headed out to the noman’s-land on the outskirts of the city.

The artistic

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