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Malyshki 18:22 «What's in my bag?»

Winzavod Central Exhibition Centre, entrance n8 

11.06 — 20.07.24

On 11 June, a—s—t—r—a gallery, in collaboration with the online gallery Ob'edinenie, opens a solo exhibition-installation of the group Malyshki 18:22 (Babies 18:22), "What's in my bag?".

"There is a special space outside the hierarchies that gathers together and protects you from outside forces. You will be surprised, but each of you has access to it, just as your ancestors, without exception, possessed it. It is the first tool of labour - the bag, an instrument of creation, of accumulation, not destruction. To whose creative power Ursula Le Guin devoted an essay on fiction theory, emphasising the fact that humans are originally predominantly gatherers, not hunters.

The new project of Malyshek 18:22 "What's in my bag?" explores the cultural transformation of the image of the main feminine accessory and its representation as a unit of symbolic exchange in the world of stereotypical "girly" values. The artists address a real situation that they accidentally witnessed. In the public space, a lost woman's handbag has turned into a Pandora's box for others and security services, hiding something mysterious and dangerous inside. Divided into two halls, the exhibition space became an allegory of the shiny shell of the iconic accessory and its disturbing and gloomy contents. The image of a portal or a black hole, which appears repeatedly in Little's practice, is transformed into an endless matryoshka doll or a bottomless bag that holds secrets and dangerous objects. Multiple levels and layering permeate the project with images of mass culture and criticism of late capitalism, ironically turning the gallery into a boutique of expensive accessories, and the artworks into bag objects ready to "walk" with their potential owners. The exhibition absorbs the artists' previous projects, creating a repository of important images: a pink dress, a black mirror, wounds and bows, summarising the results and marking the transition to the next stage of artistic practice. A running line with the text, "Because everything sells. Because everything repeats and sells. Because everything repeats itself, repeats itself and sells..." makes us think about the mistake of the copying machine, which once made an irreversible process of mutation of such an important object for mankind as a bag into an attribute of cult and social status. Not surprisingly, in the 2010s, the "What's in ...'s bag?" challenge was popular, with celebrities talking about their favourite aitems and their contents, exposing to the public a simultaneously personal and deliberately constructed image of a person. So who are you? What's in your bag?"

Text by Daria Yartseva, curator





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