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Young but Unbroken

In a distant past, academic expeditions were expected to be concluded with round-table discussions with academicians around discoveries. Stendhal, Hugo, Jack London and other prominent writers captivated aspiring travellers from all around the world with their literary works. The inclusion of photographic teams in expeditions of the 19th century gave rise to massive academic albums of exhibition reports, accompanied with pictures of exotic countries and places, from then on available to curious library members worldwide.

Until recently, trips behind the Iron Wall were extended into veritable eternal storytelling journeys in tiny Soviet kitchens, where many things were told and artefacts shown.

Today, we struggle to take in beach and holiday posts invading us via multiple social networks allowing us to adjust content settings and thus block users incessantly producing beach publications. Invitations to come by for a drink and have a look at the photos taken during the host’s recent holidays in an exotic location have become a legitimate reason for deleting the host’s contact details from one’s phonebook.

Google Street View machines enable safe world travels directly from one’s place, but there is no stopping those aspiring to travel. No photograph or video can express impressions one once had while enjoying sunlight beams in Rome’s Pantheon or the contemplating eagerness of the Louvre visitors eye-devouring the museum exhibits or the Berlin Metro relaxed passengers.

The evaluation of a low-budget trip may also be dependent on the personal Soviet experience: spending nights out in the local Collective Farming Club, sitting next to the noisy Zvuki Mu band in a Baltic capital, hard seats in the waiting area on the first floor of the Vilnius Railway Terminal, a deadlock Tallinn station closed for travellers at night time, the pleasure of hitchhiking, having no definite arrival point.

The exhibition Young but Unbroken staged in the Cosmos Pavilion is my attempt to document the results of a low-budget European tour of young Moscow artists.

Study subject: transforming a Journey into an Artwork.