Fiona Banner
Cornford & Cross
Laura Emsley
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Kendell Geers
David King
David Mabb
Mike Nelson
Jan-Peter E R Sonntag
Louise K Wilson

This October is the 80th anniversary of the October 1917 Revolution in Russia. It was one of the crucial events of the 20th century but we all understand that, for obvious reasons, the anniversary will go largely unrecognized (David Mabbs)

The lack of celebration, and the obvious reasons for it, are the subject of this exhibition. Freedom is dependent on self censorship. Power comes from omission. What we choose to ignore also matters

The artists in this exhibition are interested in the complexity of meanings that surround every reference to Marxism (Laura Emsley), to Revolution (Ian Hamilton) and to Russia (Louise K Wilson)

Modernism in art, design and film rests on the Constructivist Movement of the Russian Revolution. For a few years after October 1917 Moscow artists shaped the look of the modern that has lasted for the rest of the 20th century (David King)
Post-modernism in art, design and film owes a lot to a simultaneous theoretical revival of interest in Marxism and a suppression of socialism in democratic politics (Cornford & Cross). A Marxist is no longer a political activist but is now the brilliant cultural theorist publishing in OCTOBER magazine (Jan-Peter E R Sonntag)

The romantic image of an early idealistic phase of the Russian Revolution is exemplified by the cleanliness of Constructivism and the flicker of Eisenstein's films. Political ideology reified in art. This is strictly cultural studies for the seminar room. Meanwhile mass culture has pieced together a photomontage which parallels Stalin with Hitler. This approaches the obvious reasons for our tacit self-censorship

No shots were fired in October 1917. Terrorism has replaced Revolution for us (Kendell Geers). There are no political utopias now, only crime. Camouflage fatigues give street credibility to the linkage made between terrorism and drugs

The Cold War was supposed to have ended in 1989 (Fiona Banner). But it looks more as though it was the end of World War Two. Geography has taken over from history. It takes 9 hours to fly from Asian Russia to European Russia. The political disintegration of the Communist USSR has only nibbled at Russia's immensity (Stefan Gee). It continues to trouble us. We do not know where the border of Europe is now, except that it is somewhere in a geographic reality called Russia that we prefer to ignore. Nastrovia Comrades!