Alexey Titarenko created the series of collages and photomontages that became Nomenklatura of Signs from 1986-1991, under the strict Soviet rule. This new publication presents the series in its entirety for the first time and includes a satirical story written by Titarenko few months before the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Working in secret, Titarenko conceived the series as a way to translate the visual reality of Soviet life into a language that expressed its absurdity, in a hierarchy of symbols that, together, formed a nomenclature — or, in Russian, nomenklatura, a term for the system by which government posts were filled in the Soviet Union. Drawing inspiration from the aesthetics of Malevich, Rodchenko, and other artists of the early 20th century Russian avant-garde, Titarenko captures an uncanny, darkly comic world in which language is controlled and subverted much like the Newspeak of George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Nomenklatura of Signs includes essays by writer Jean-Jacques Marie, art historian Gabriel Bauret, and curator and art historian Ksenia Nouril. The book is designed by Kelly Doe Studio in New York and published by Damiani in Italy.
Hardcover, 120 pages