City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Join the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department for Empire’s Echo art exhibit opening on Thursday, June 1 at 4 p.m. at the Old Bakery and Emporium, 1006 Congress Ave. The exhibit features the work local Austin artists Anne Bobroff-Hajal and Craig Campbell who offer two different perspectives of Russian history. Empire’s Echo will will be on display from June 1 through August 12. There will be a closing reception on Saturday, August 12 at 1 p.m. The exhibit and both reception events are free and open to the public.
Visitors are invited to dialogue with the history of Russia, whose great and terrible projects over centuries can also help us understand Putin’s invasion of Ukraine today. This exhibition sets the quiet resonance of day-to-day life on the periphery of the Russian Empire against the fevered aristocratic competition at its autocratic Moscow center.
Campbell’s Agit Kino: Tell Them We Are for Peace focuses on Indigenous peoples of subarctic Siberia. The installation features historic photographs and a tent cinema inspired by the early 20th-century Agitprop tents used by itinerant Bolshevik projectionists to screen news, propaganda, and entertainment for nomadic peoples.
Bobroff-Hajal’s large, comical but deadly serious, icon-like works, influenced by animation and graphic novels, contain hundreds of individually painted, 3-inch-high portraits of Russians from serfs to princes. Their stories are “narrated” by zany Tsarist "godparents,” across centuries of often brutal Tsarist and Soviet autocratic history, shaped by the specific geography on which they live.