Maria Blagaya 18+

︎Unlimited Liability Company

The Unlimited Liability Company project is an installation consisting of several parts: the 2×2 m round table made of plywood; speech transcriptions regularly arranged on the table as eight folders, labeled with spokespersons names; slogans with quotes from the transcriptions on four textile flags, placed on two walls behind the table; and an 48-minute audio-track, edited from eight voices. The audio plays on loop from two speakers inside the table.

The content of the text-based mediums was collected throughout February 2021. These are documentary dialogues with my friends and artists, recorded in my kitchen on different days. Initially planned to be a tool to reflect my project development, eventually they turned into the primary content. The ‘leftovers’ of speech, not related to my project, proved to be the most interesting part. From them I compiled a conference talk, devoted to the questions that bother art practitioners in Russia, such as: politics, art, Russia, love, death, future, fate. Audio-track puts together the informative pieces of speech and random kitchen sounds, discussions about devil and about the quality of crisps.

The folders are bilingual transcriptions of the discussion. Each spokesperson has a personal folder, where only his or her parts of speech are visible, while everything else is blocked with white lines. This treatment allows one to see the actual length of each contribution without seeing the content of it, all along inciting to focus on each spokesperson as a character with a specific position.

The official arrangement of the round table with flags and transcriptions is brought together with an apparently friendly tone of the sounding talk, in this way oscillating between formal and informal, private and public. The recontextualisation of the intimate kitchen discussion points at the difference between the official agenda of Russian state apparatus and the reality of people’s mindsets. It highlights the problematic topics by making them sound as loudly as routine speech and clinks of beer bottles. What sounds normal behind the closed doors of the apartment becomes daring and dismaying in a gallery space.