Bloody art could leave a lingering interest in some topical politics

by Padraig Conlon

Instead of spending an arm and leg this Valentine’s Day, how about spending some blood?

This is what Russian artist Andrei Molodkin would like from visitors to his exhibition, which opens on Friday, February 14 in Rua Red, Tallaght.

Entitled, Bloodline, this new work for Rua Red shifts focus away from music lyrics deemed unsafe by European governments to the online communication of hate-speech.

Through the medium of human blood, Molodkin analyses the language used by different groups within volatile political systems.

Visitors will get the chance to donate their blood for the installation at the opening, administered by a qualified nurse.

An industrial machine pumps human blood across the walls, donated onsite by local social and political groups.

“As you engage with the artwork you become responsible for the content,” Andrei Molodkin told Dublin Gazette ahead of Bloodline opening in Tallaght.

He said: “I want people who come to the exhibition to think and have their own opinions and not fall for propaganda and fake news.

“This exhibition also invites people to donate blood so they can be part of it – they are no longer just a witness.

“The sentences I take from quotes are shocking or repressive, and can only be erased by blood – that’s why I use blood.”

Andrei Molodkin’s previous blood exhibition, Catholic Blood, opened in Derry in 2013 and was very controversial as it featured only blood from the Catholic community.

Molodkin, who was born in Boui, northern Russia in 1966, now lives in France but still returns to Moscow where he studied at the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design at Stroganov Institute.

Whilst studying, he served in the Soviet Army, convoying missiles through Siberia from 1985 to 1987, an experience which has heavily shaped his work.

“In the army I got to observe the language of the state, how it lies to its people, how language is so powerful,” he says.

“Bloodline is about censorship and propaganda from all over the world, and not just about the relationship between Russia and the West.

“What I’m seeing in Europe and the rise of the Far Right in so many countries reminds me of the fall of the Soviet Union, where the working class felt abandoned by the establishment.”

Bloodline marks the final installment of the two-year collaboration between a/political and Rua Red, and opens at 6pm on Friday, February 14, running until Friday March 27.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication.

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