How a Russian Librarian Aimed to Cheat Death [GARAGE]

A mummy roaming the halls of a Moscow museum; desolate powerlines dotting the faded blonde grasslands of Kazakhstan; an aero-ionization dish hanging like a chandelier over a cemetery.

These enigmatic scenes, from a trio of films by artist Anton Vidokle, match the strangeness of the works’ subject. Russian Cosmism—the esoteric techno-philosophy developed by a peculiar librarian named Nikolai Fedorov at the end of the 19th century—was introduced to Vidokle ten years ago by critic and theorist Boris Groys.

“It sounded too good to be true,” Vidokle recounted to GARAGE: “blood transfusions to reverse aging organized by one of the founders of the Bolshevik party, designs for space stations as orbiting cemeteries where dead bodies would be preserved at zero gravity made by some of the leading avant-garde artists… it sounded like fiction.” Occultish, perhaps, but this movement was very real.

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published in GARAGE feb. 2018

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