The exposition presents underground art as secret knowledge, accessible to a circle of friends and like-minded people, and in need of protection from the external forces of ideological control and censorship.
The history of the coexistence of underground art methods, spiritual aspirations of countercultural movements, as well as unofficial health experiments in the USSR during the stagnation period will be presented at the exhibition as a single ecosystem. Works of art, objects of unknown purpose and archival materials (diaries, photo albums, samizdat) are combined into a common semantic network. Mysterious constructions of Soviet non-conformist art by Vyacheslav Akhunov, Armen Bugayan, Rimma and Valery Gerlovins, Andris Grinbergs, groups “TOTART”, “Nest”, “Collective Actions”, “Fly agaric”, “Peppers” and others. In the exhibition, they are compared with the experiments of thinkers and activists of uncensored literature (Heydar Dzhemal, Yuri Mamleev and others).
The artist Jan Ginzburg created the installation “The Room of Geniuses” for the exhibition - a variation of the “board of honor”, which contains portraits of thinkers and politicians who were considered to be carriers of wisdom and true knowledge in the official culture of the USSR. On the reverse side of this pantheon are photographs of people with facial expressions taken by the psychiatrist Lazar Sukharebsky in the 1960-1970s. The "room of geniuses" serves as a postscript to the difficult history of the twentieth century, and a reflection on the boundaries of the psychic norm and the strategies for its forcible affirmation in Soviet everyday life.