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07.09.2019 - 13.10.2019
Curator: Oxana Polyakova
MМOMA, Moscow


Ilmira Bolotyan’s project “Immaterial Labor” is a two-year participatory performance. The artist, an “average” woman with imperfect proportions, has tested on herself various ways of improving her “average body” and for this purpose has joined several large female communities aimed at pursuing attractiveness.

Improving their appearance with makeup, hairstyling, clothes, accessories, cosmetic treatments, and diets, we (primarily women) do a lot of invisible, immaterial work. Women share their experience with other women, setting up courses on healthy diet, image-making, etiquette, etc.

The art world functions in a similar manner. The major part of the artist’s work is immaterial and consists in communicating with the right people, being in the right place at the right time, coordinating processes, collaborating with institutions and producing the right impression.

In the “Immaterial Labor” project, through her own experience and the experience of other women, the artist makes visible the world of immaterial labor demonstrating how to become part of it. Thus, the artist brings immaterial labor into the public limelight and at the same time involves new audiences into the art world.

Presented at the exhibition were the “products” of the artist’s “immaterial labor” including a film, a series of graphic works, objects, sculptures, photo collages, video recordings of performances, a documentary audio drama and a zine.

Ilmira Bolotyan, Oksana Polyakova 

[RU]Curatorial Text by Oxana Polyakova and Ilmira Bolotyan




Documentary film


The film features the preparation process for walking runways. The graduates of  Z’S Models Vyacheslav Zaitsev’s Model School ‘for all ages,’ women aged from 36 to 53, long to be models despite failing to meet the measurement requirements and the absence of demand for  women of this age group in model industry. They learn catwalking, hire makeup artists, choose their apparel and tirelessly practice under the watchful eye of Vlada Kuntsevich, a young daughter of a model teaching the course – all this to document on video their one-minute appearance on the runway.

The modeling game is followed by static video portraits, with each participant unmasked by the camera revealing their fears, insecurity, eagerness, tension, confusion.

Movie teaser


Performance in MMOMA



The performance of “Princessizing” (2018) became part of a large research project by the artist dedicated to the ideals in various women's communities. One of the stages of the research led the artist to the fitness training Prancercise (from English “prancing”). It was invented by American Joanna Rohrbeck and became the source of many memes and parodies. Together with a group of performers, the artist organized the “Princessizing” movement, which combines easy exercises developed by professional choreographer Sergei Krymlov, flashy outfits, bright makeup, relaxedness and publicity. Funny galloping around the streets and funny costumes for a better mood and motivation have replaced the exhausting paths to excellence.

Princessizing performances are usually held at exhibitions inside exhibits.

September 22, 2019
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