A series of minimalist paintings made on sheets of wood particle board. The Russian word “fuflo” means fraud, embezzlement, as well as poor quality goods, empty sensless objects, something apparently valuable, but in fact representing no value.

After the default of 1998, I was left without any means of livelihood. In despair, I returned to Luga to my parents and settled as handyman for the construction
of a future elite holiday center for employees of a large Moscow bank. All other workers were in a similar economic situation. I spent working three winter months in the cold. For warm up, the workers went into the interior of the future holiday center. There they took off their sweatshirts, in Russian called “fufaika,” and took their seats around the batteries. While the workers were lying, I sketched in a notebook the sweatshirts hanging on a nail. From the constant dampness and cold, they were becoming stiff, adopting the shape of their owner’s bodies. Each of these sweatshirts became a sheepskin of their owner, his seashell, his second body—a body of a wage laborer.

The construction of the elite holiday center was finished. The manager announced that to receive the salary, workers themselves should go to St. Petersburg to the central office of the construction department. The trips to St. Petersburg continued unsuccessfully for a few months—the office stayed closed. In late summer, the workers gathered at the private office, demanding their earned wages. This time their money was paid, but as a result of inflation which lasted all this time, its value depreciated entirely.

I bought with all this money paints and brushes, and painted a series on sweatshirts picked up at a construction site on wood particle sheets.


(The work was never exhibited).