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Archived exhibition

PIL 2.0: Russia. be blinded by an inner light

Exhibition: 19-29 October 2016

Preview: Tuesday 18 October, 5.30-7.30pm

Social media performance by Rostan Tavaseiv: 3 – 29 October 2016

Centrespace, Visual Research Centre, lower levels of Dundee Contemporary Arts

Virtual exhibition hosted on:

Centrespace DJCAD present PIL 2.0: Russia. be blinded by an inner light an exhibition of work by artists Rostan Tavasiev and Ksenia Pilsova drawn from the online PILproject and running in parallel with the virtual exhibition at PIL 2.0 is an exposition curated by current DJCAD PhD candidate Alejandro Ball.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this has never felt truer than now when observing the virtual landscape of the Internet. Visual culture and imagery is in abundance through every one of our social exchanges. Through this hefty exchange, new signifiers are added to appropriated content, which in turn is re-appropriated and distributed anew with further additions to its context. Most pertinent to this phenomenon is the ‘meme,’ a digital 'image' with numerous diverse meanings – limited only by the imagination of the Internet populous who creates and uses them. Memes have come to signify a variety of different social exchanges from animated visualisations typography cannot account for, to images emphasising the political as an ironic gesture. Within this visual economy a key feature has been the relatively free exchange of memes, allowing for them to integrate into our linguistic thought process. Yet, in a globalised society it is easy to forget that various countries view open communication as a fundamental threat to their government’s authority. In April 2015, social media communities went into uproar at the news... “Putin bans memes!” (, 2015). While an obvious exageration in part by the media, it is a common story. One which talks of virtual restriction as synonymous to cultural restriction.

PILproject (PIL 2.0) sets out to delve into the political value of a growing meme collection and follows on from a previous incarnation in 2015 at the Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design. Through the process one particular meme caught the PILproject team’s attention, The Putin Rides meme. This lead them to investigate the politics of Russia and the Internet further, and look at how the implementation of the country's recent Internet content law had effected artists operating on 'the net'. Travelling to Russia and contacting several local artist groups and galleries in the Moscow area, the PILproject team conducted interviews to attain a first-hand account of this new Internet legislation and its implications on artistic practices.

PIL 2.0 at Centrespace VRC is an exhibition featuring works by two invited artists from Russia reacting to PIL’s meme collection online and offline. Artists Rostan Tavasiev and Ksenia Pilsova will create works that will inhabit the PILproject webpage, and Centrespace. Each artist will initiate a different performative element of Internet meme culture from the perspective of their locality, with Tavasiev’s efforts culminating in an interactive social media performance, hosted via Facebook.

A special issue of the digital magazine 'Shitposting' will be distributed both online and in hard copy in Centrespace VRC, as a referential aid to the visual culture of memes. The exhibition and event surrounding it will present the research findings undertaken while in Russia and examine the effects of control and surveillance, and the dystopic nature of Internet freedom.

Social media performance by Rostan Tavaseiv: 3rd October – 29th October.
To join the performance, go to and friend request Hidden Personally for regular updates:

Participating artists:

Ksenia Pilsova (Russia, 1990)

Ksenia Plisova is a Russian artist, born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. She studied fashion and design in the Siberian Federal University and the Omsk State University of Service, and as well graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow in 2013. She works with found images and utilizes this process as a tool to produce installations, collages, and objects, which criticize socio-political issues and the notion of a Post-Internet reality. She is currently based in Moscow.

Rostan Tavasiev (Russia, 1976)

Rostan Tavasiev graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow in 2002, and has had solo exhibitions with The Pechersky Gallery, 2015 (Moscow, Russia), CCA in Grozny, 2014 (Grozny, Russia), The National Museum RNO-Alania, 2013 (Vladikavkaz, Russia), and MAMM, 2013 (Moscow, Russia). Tavasiev has also participated in the following group exhibitions, ‘Innovation’, ZUM, 2014 (Moscow, Russia), ‘GOSZAKAZ’, Winzavod, 2013 (Moscow, Russia), and ‘Dreams for those who are awake’, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 2013 (Moscow, Russia). He currently lives and works in Moscow.

All images courtesy of PIL project

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Opening times: Monday - Saturday, 12.00 - 16.30 pm.

Centrespace in the Visual Research Centre, DJCAD and is located on the lower floors of Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee.