Gosha Ostretsov | The Adventures of Robbing Good

3 April - 2 May 2009

In a parallel universe only fractionally distant from ours in the space/time continuum, there exists another Earth. The people of this Earth languish under the yoke of a single, all-powerful, fascist regime - the feared, ever present, ever listening, ever watchful New Government. With pitiless bureaucratic efficiency they tighten their iron grip on the world - relentlessly they plunder the natural resources of the world, felling forests at a stroke, draining the seas of life, sucking oxygen from the skies - remorselessly they condemn nations and peoples to a pitiful wage slavery, sentencing them to lives of monotonous drudgery eked out in vast cancerous cities - ruthlessly they employ their sophisticated psychological marketing techniques to keep the minds of their subjects in check, twisting every word and idea, so that all categories are thrown into confusion and all definitions robbed of meaning...

...But the wheels of time turn and in the end they grind all to dust...  the good and the bad... the high and the low... and in the poverty-stricken slums of Capital City, something is stirring... whispers circulate... a rumor of resistance...a spark struck in the dark...and in the shadows, a shadow moves... a new hero, a folk legend in the making, a friend to the desperate, an enemy to power... Once he was a humble gas technician employed and exploited by the state but everything changed when one fateful day he suffered a terrible boiler accident and was scarred and crippled for life... Thrown on the scrap-heap of the functionless and useless by a pitiless society, his pain grew till it seeped into his soul and in the fires of his torment a new identity was forged... he emerged from the long, dark night, into the half-light as...Robbing Good.
.. He moves silently amongst the needy, stealing gas and electricity for those without power and heat, commandeering food for the hungry, organising opposition, bringing knowledge to those without knowledge... bringing hope to those without hope...* Will Robbing Good lead his people to freedom? Will he be caught and killed by the security apparatus of the fascist state/capitalist/industrial-military complex?

Find out in The Adventures of Robbing Good...

*He also fixes boilers and central heating systems.

Paradise Row proudly presents The Adventures of Robbing Good, the first major London show of leading Russian contemporary artist Gosha Ostretsov. Employing narrative installation, performance, painting and sculpture, Ostretsov introduces a new hero for our troubled times - Robbing Good - a creation informed by the history, theory and associated art and design of the anarchist, socialist and Marxist movements of the last century and a half.

Gosha Ostretsov is one of Russia's leading contemporary artists. Since the late 1990's Ostretsov has been working on The New Government project, a parodic gesamtkunstwerk on the nature of power and despotism in post-Soviet Russia and, by extension in the world at large.

Ostretsov will be representing Russia as part of a curated group show in the Russian pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009.