About project The Altai Files, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, 2016

Adjusting the view

The Russian artists' duo Marta Volkova and Slava Shevelenko like to explore the boundaries between reality and fiction. The point at which reality starts to display touches of absurdity draw inspiration for their large-scale installations. Observing the world today, one immidiately realises that Marta and Slava must have been kept very busy in recent years.
Their exhibition projects about the meteoric commercialisation of society (From the Life of the Beetles), about megalomaniac art projects in the open space (In the anticipation of economic boom, acquired by the Bonnefantenmuseum), and about astronauts' irrepressible urge to make art (About Space and Love), always deal with the question of how social reality and collective mythology influence one another.
The same applies to The Altai Files, the new installation created by Volkova and Shevelenko for the Bonnefantenmuseum, prompted by the fact that 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Once again, viewers are guided through a subtle interplay of fact and myth. In the best tradition of Russian writers and artists, such as Mikhail Bulgakov and Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Volkova and Shevelenko play off various elements of social reality, history and collective mythology against each other, so that viewers once again have to adjust their view. The exhibition The Altai Files thus fits perfectly into the Bonnefantenmuseum's focus on the 'secret canon' of art stories that are anything but obvious.

Stij Huijts,
Director Bonnefantenmuseum.

Article about "The Altai Files" - ‘Er is geen volk zo bijgelovig als het Siberische’

About project The Transylvania Archive, The New Institute, Rotterdam, 2017:


Other links:

Metropolis M.'Een kever die de wereld kan veranderen'. Floor van Luijk. 10-05-2014:

Metropolis M.'Avant-garde bric ŕ brac: The Russian Schizorevolution in Marres'. Domeniek Ruyters. 25-05-2009:


De Datsja-zaal, Bonnefantenmuseum, 2013:


'Ijselijke gebeurtenissen in de omgeving van Kyoto in 2008', Flacc, Genk, 2010:

http://www.kunstinlimburg.be/projecten/marta-volkova-en-slava-shevelenko-ijselijke-gebeurtenissen-de-omgeving-van- kyoto-2008