The Commissar Vanishesis on display for the first time in Moscow at the State Museum of GULAG History. The exhibition features more than 150 photographs from the early 20th century to the mid-1950s from David King’s personal collection. The exhibition occupies two large rooms on the first floor and a suite of rooms in a semi-basement. The exhibition is organized chronologically from the first decades of the Soviet Republic (first floor room) to the dark era of Stalin’s terror (semi-basement rooms). Space plays an important role in the arrangement of the installation — while descending from spacious rooms on the first floor to a cramped low ceiling basement, visitors can feel the changes that took place in Soviet society from the revolutionary era of freedom of expression to the oppressive atmosphere of Stalin’s terror.

Video installations, audio guides and multimedia biographies of the persons depicted on the images accompany the photo sequences. Visitors have the option to rent audio guides that play sound documents matching the photo sequences.

The exhibition was created by

David King – collection, idea and texts
Roman Romanov – curation, videoinstallations
Irina Galkova – curation, texts editing
Anna Red’kina – design and mounting of the exhibition
Eugenia Filimonova – texts editing
Daria Muracheva – texts editing
Samat Galimov – information technology
Bulat Valiev
web site
Sergey Yaralov – design and mounting of the exhibition
Anna Sidlyarenok – design of polygraphs
Anna Rapeiko – public relations
Yuryi Gousev – translation
Dmitry Belanovsky – translation
Margarita Zhdanova – coordination
Alexander Sheveliov – engineering work

We thankfully acknowledge Margarita Zhdanova, Alexey Romanov, EvgenyiRed’kin, Stephen Cohen, Katrina vandenHeuvel, Natalia Fishman, VassilisaKamenskaya, Olga Nepakhareva, Ekaterina Dukarevich, PavelSnopkov, IlyaPetrov, ElizavetaKuznetsova, Alexandra Yuvzhenko, Elena Kozlova, Maria Drozhdina, Rebecca Ruhl, Patricia Garcia Alayo, Alexander Markov, VeneraDavletshina, Tatyana Mel’nikova, Anna Grigoryeva, Anna Gavrilova, Oksana Gavrik, Ol’gaKhamitova, DariaRyzhkova for their help in preparing the exhibition.