Mihhail Plutahhin, Pyotr Volkov


GULAG History Museum and Teatr Predmeta, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Director: Mihhail Plutahhin
THE OBSERVERS evolved from a sketch created as a result of a workshop in the GULAG History Museum: several teams were asked to work with letters and diaries of the repressed or with investigative documents. The creators of THE OBSERVERS use objects brought from expeditions to Chukotka and Kolyma where some of the labour camps were located.
The director, Mikhail Plutahhin, has shown interest in puppet theatre and object theatre since his years as a student of Dmitry Brusnikin’s acting workshop. THE OBSERVERS is the first production of his theatre practicing the principles of rejection of the word, separation of audio and visual tracks and careful attention to the object used. 
The performers are at the same time puppeteers working with the museum’s belongings and museum workers and anthropologists who find themselves on stage. The audience is free to choose whether to follow the story of one day at the labour camp, with drama of human disaster, or to perceive it all abstractly, as a musical performance, created by objects touching and sliding against each other – objects- instrument and objects- reminders.

* GULAG is an acronym for the name of the system of forced labor camps established in the Soviet Union during Stalin's reign. 

Elizaveta Spivakovskaya