Works > Postcards from the Revolutionary Pleshka, 2013

Postcards from the Revolutionary Pleshka is a collaboration between Yevgeniy Fiks and Moscow's contemporary LGBT activists of Rainbow Association.

For this project, Fiks collected postcards, which were produced by official state publishing houses during the Soviet era, depicting important political or cultural sites of Moscow. This includes the Marx Monument on Sverdlov Square, the Bolshoi Theater, the Lenin Museum, etc. During the Soviet era these sites were also covertly functioning as gay cruising grounds -- pleshkas in Russian gay argot. The Soviet-era, state-published postcards are [naturally] silent about this fact.

In April 2013, Fiks invited contemporary LGBT activists from Moscow to write "messages into the past" on the back of those old postcards and to relay to a real or imaginary Soviet-era gay person about the conditions and activism of present-day Moscow's LGBT community.

Postcards from the Revolutionary Pleshka connects the history of invisibility and repression of Soviet-era gay community and the present-day LGBT activism. The project conceptualizes the transformation of the covert pleshkas of the Soviet past into sites of open political action of today and the process of formation of the post-Soviet LGBT political subject. Thus, the official Soviet-era postcards are retroactively subverted and become a counter-monument to the invisibility and repression of the Soviet era and at the same time a recognition of today's visible LGBT activism in spite of Post-Soviet forms of repression.

As an installation, these postcards are presented as protest-signs: the personal becomes political.