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One could see the “BALO” and “ZAE” banners at the first demonstration “Monstration” in Novosibirsk in 2004. Back then we (the CAT group – Contemporary Art Terrorism) called on the people in Novosibirsk to spice up the 1st of May with slogans propagating our feelings, to organise a party of emotions in such a way, that is not foreseen by the scenario of a total play, to create our history and to demand the impossible.


The people of Novosibirsk answered with slogans, which to some seemed absurd and apolitic, but to some, who are more susceptible (like police officers), the slogams seemed to be calling for an overthrow of the constitutional order. All the people detained that day had to deny such suspicions in writing. The “BALO” and “ZAE” banners which became weapons of law violations, were seized and destroyed as ordered by the court.

In 2017 I reconstructed them for the exhibition “Against Everyone”, in order to capture the links between the Siberian actionism and the Moscow actionism which inspired it, to define (as per the urge of Osmolovsky) the relationship between artists-intellectuals and the current political situation, in which the calling to be against everyone and everything, once brought to on the 1st of May as a meaningless slogan, is the only sensible answer to the absurd, happening under the guise of reality.

Artem Loskutov

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