After the End of History


In his series After the End of History Wolfgang Lehrner reflects on the transformability of collective identity, which manifests itself in public space and becomes visible through architecture and artifacts; these “in-between” spaces reflect changes according to the respective interests of time. 

His photographic subject, the All-Russian Exhibition Center (VDNKh), has been - was - established in 1935 as “All-Union Agricultural Exhibition” and first opened in 1939. In 1956 the focus changed – it was less about individual achievements of each republic, but more about the achievements of different industries of the Soviet economy. This led to the conversion of regional pavilions into pavilions for state-of-the-art industries, within the style of modernist architecture.

Over the years some of the pavilions were no longer used or deprived from their initially function. The apparent emptiness in some of Wolfgang’s photographs plays with the idea of both, absence and presence. Artifacts such as the half opened curtain or the vacant chairs could be understood as representatives of former presence, and thus symbolize an in between moment - before and after the show.

Judith Stöckl & Giulia Tamiazzo, 2015

After the End of History, 6 Inkjet prints, 120 x 80 cm,
All-Russian Exhibition Center, Moscow, 2015

The White Flags

The flag - in its most common use - symbolizes a nation or country. It is a powerful patriotic symbol and their strongest signaling character may be the color. On Victory Day the city of Moscow was full of flags.  Red ones, white-blue-red ones and white, blue, red ones.

Wolfgang Lehrner focused only on the white ones, purposely enhancing the ambiguous interpretation created through his selection. By leaving out the other flags, the single color gets a totally new meaning and the image moves away from reality directly into fiction. This fictional scene as result might be just a starting point, which invites the viewer to rethink the symbol of representation – through the power of aesthetics.

Judith Stöckl & Giulia Tamiazzo, 2015

The White Flags, 3 Inkjet prints, 120 x 80 cm, Moscow, 2015

The White Flags, 162 Sec. (Loop), Moscow, 2015

Outer Space

Humans began the exploration of space during the 20th century with the advent of high-altitude balloon flights, followed by manned rocket launches. Earth orbit was first achieved by Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union in 1961 and unmanned spacecraft have since reached all of the known planets in the Solar System. The Space Pavilion at the VDNH Moscow was dedicated to the broad interest in outer space and replaced the Pavilion for Agriculture in around 1965. For three decades it informed its visitors on matters of the universe and housed a full size orbital station. For a couple of years now the Space Pavilion has been out of regular use, its endless space became vacant, turning it into a singular planet on Earth.

outer space, Inkjet prints, 120 x 80 cm,
All-Russian Exhibition Center, Moscow, 2015

After the End of History, on site / Peresvetov Gallery, Moscow, 2015
Curated by on site art projects, Judith Stöckl & Giulia Tamiazzo
Supported by Moscow City Galleries Network and Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow
Artist talk with Valentin Diaconov