Paulina Olowska. Univermag GUM: Episode Parade, Winter, GUM, Airport (2018)
Metro Pictures is presenting a different artist’s film or series of shorts each weekend to stream online from Friday at noon until Sunday at midnight (EST).
This weekend we are showing Paulina Olowska’s Univermag GUM: Episode Parade, Winter, GUM, Airport. Between 2016 and 2019 Olowska made frequent trips to Belarus to photograph and record its capital Minsk. For the artist, Minsk feels “culturally frozen in time” and recalls memories of her childhood growing up in communist Poland. The film explores the architecture, style, and traditions of a country that, to Olowska, seems like a hidden socialist utopia.
A majority of the film was shot at the Minsk location of GUM (short for the Russian Glávnyj Universányj Magazín), a renowned department store found throughout cities of the former Soviet Union. Initially inspired by Émile Zola’s novel The Ladies’ Paradise, which recounts the rise of the modern department store in late nineteenth-century Paris, Olowska secretly filmed both customers and saleswomen at GUM. Unlike Zola’s fictional store––a symbol of capitalism and the rise of the modern city––GUM is like a Cold War time capsule; only products made in Belarus are available, with no trace of otherwise globally present Western brands.
The film is accompanied by original music from Belarusian musician Halina Zalatukha, and the artist wishes to thank Celina Kanunnikava, Gleb Kanunnikau, and Kseniya Hrytskevich.
April 24-26: Isaac Julie
n – Baltimore (2003)
May 1-3: Catherine Sullivan – Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land (2003)
May 8-10: Oliver Laric – Untitled (2014-15) & Betweenness (2018-19)
May 15-17: John Miller – Mannequin Trilogy (2016-19)
May 22-24: David Maljkovi? – Scene for a New Heritage Trilogy (2004-06)
May 29-31: Cindy Sherman – 1975-76 Films
June 5-7: Judith Hopf – Recent Short Films (2013-18)
June 12-14: Robert Longo – Icarus Rising (2019)
June 19-21: Bas Jan Ader – Falling Films (1970-71)