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Anton Vidokle, The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun

Anton Vidokle, The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun (2015), film still

Anton Vidokle: The Communist Revolution
Was Caused by the Sun

Esker Foundation
Calgary AB– May 27-Aug 28, 2017

Born in Moscow and raised in New York City, Vidokle is best known as the founder of e-flux, a daily online press release distributor that, through its advertisers (mostly museums and galleries), underwrites exhibitions and talks, commissions essays and, as a collaborative juggernaut, is an ever-present dinner guest at the mansion of contemporary art. Amidst all this, Vidokle maintains a solo art practice with an interest in film.

Vidokle’s The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun is the second in a trilogy of films based on an early 20th- century Russian social movement known as cosmism. For the uninitiated, cosmism draws on world religions, ethics, poetics, and natural history towards an understanding of the cosmos and its sidekick, humankind. That cosmism supplied its first Soviet leaders with a vision of a global proletariat setting out from earth to enlighten outer space is not surprising.

Like Dusan Makavejev’s classic WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971), Vidokle’s film is based on the work of a discredited scientist; in this instance, Soviet biophysicist Alexander Chizhevsky, who was exiled to Kazakhstan after arguing that environmental factors, not historical ones, provided the impetus for Russia’s 1905 and 1917 revolutions. An interesting irony in light of Karl Marx’s prediction that after overcoming the class struggle humankind would enter an even bigger one – with Nature.


Michael Turner

 Mon, May 29, 2017