Minimal Differences offers a retrospective, of sorts, examining personal versions of late 1990s history, taken with an edge of humor. In mocking the contradictions and peculiarities inflicted on them by the past, these artists display a kind of solidarity as cultural workers, as their common identity as artists is wielded against the inconsistent multiplicity of history.
Almost without our realizing it, Gutov has us rehearsing precisely the philological relation to Marx’ work that was eclipsed by Soviet dogmatism. Looking even deeper, we see the elegant, capitalized name of Karl Marx, laid out as a sort of logo for the thinker. At the literally deepest level of the work, Gustov veers dangerously close to branding. What is he pursuing here?
Fiks brings together excerpts from Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and images found in Soviet texts printed in the 1930s. Attempting to draw a parallel between the monumental style of Socialist Realism and Rand’s aesthetics of Objectivism, both of which blossomed in the same decade, Ayn Rand in Illustrations suggests an unexpected resonance between her ideas and Stalinist doctrine, or at least between their respective popular expressions.