On 10 March 2017, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Odessa opens the exhibition “BLOCK BOX” by Viktor Pokidantsa.

For several years Victor has been creating his works in the form of matchbox labels of different sizes.

Why matchboxes and not stamps, for example? After all, stamps are also widespread stickers and are also created by artists. Stamps are too aristocratic. Matchboxes are “closer to the people”. After all, it is not for nothing that in the USSR filumenia (collecting match labels, boxes and other items related to matches) was one of the six officially authorised types of collecting, along with philately, philocardia, exlibristics, numismatics and bonistics.

Like Soviet match labels, which were an important means of mass propaganda and conveyed a special atmosphere of the “socialist today”, V. Pokidants’ pictures very accurately reflect the realities of our reality.

The subtle humour demonstrated by the author, including in the choice of titles, gives the works even greater depth.

The accuracy of the exhibition concept is also emphasised by the aptly chosen name (not to be confused with the notion of “block post”, so relevant today). It is enough to remember that one of the meanings of the word “block” is “a group of rooms, corridors and offices”, and the word “box” is “an isolated ward for dangerous patients”. In short, many, many wards.

Additional “charm” of interest to match labels is given by the legend about Soviet phyllumenia, given in Wikipedia: “In the Russian language originally used the words phyllumenia and phyllumenistika. In the late 1960s, one of the resolutions of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee used the illiterate “filumenia” (with one letter l). No one dared to challenge the spelling used in a party document, but most Russians did not want to accept the illiterate spelling either. As a result, for almost a decade the word was withdrawn from orthographic and other dictionaries published in the USSR. In the mid-1970s, the word reappeared in dictionaries, but already in the “Politburo edition” – filumenia.


Filumene by Viktor Pokidanets or sketches from the madhouse will be available to visitors of the Museum of Odesa Modern Art from 10 March to 2 April 2017.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition is on 10 March at 5 p.m. at the address: 5 Belinskogo St., Odesa.