Lesorub (The Woodcutter), 1985, Evgeny Yufit


Evgeny Yufit
Exploring a Necrorealist Archive

November 5, 2023
Necrorealism was a radical art movement that sprung up in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s. Embracing the absurdist aesthetics of life and necro-acting, the movement explored the liminal zones between life and death, sanity and insanity, Soviet normalcy and apolitical dissidence, and the potential for black humor and artistic idiocy within and outside of the political regime, the discourse of the late USSR, and daily life there. Evgeny Yufit (1961–2016) was undeniably the movement’s leader. In 1985, he founded the independent film studio Mzhalala Film in Leningrad, uniting various artists, filmmakers, performers, and regular passers-by, including Igor Bezrukov, Evgeny "the Idiot" Kondratyev, Oleg Kotelnikov, Andrei "the Dead" Kurmoyartsev, Vladimir Kustov, Ivetta Pomerantseva, and others. (Masha Godovannaya/Janneke van Dalen)
The two programs with unique archival materials from Yufit's personal archive alongside a selection of his early short films and his second feature, The Wooden Room (1995) will be presented by Masha Godovannaya (artist, queer feminist researcher, curator, and trustee of Evgeny Yufit's estate) and Janneke van Dalen (co-manager of the film collection of the Austrian Film Museum). 

Our program series Flotsam is devoted to examples of ephemeral film: archive finds, film documents, unpublished and fragmented film material that have become a subject of research and curatorial attention in the Film Museum.
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