Lenin was a mushroom

Screening of Lenin was a mushroom followed by Panel Experiment

February 4, 2016 – 7pm to 9pm

Screening of Lenin was a Mushroom (1991) followed by Panel Experiment

featuring Thomas Booth (mycologist) Radhika Desai (Marxist Scholar), Matthew Patton (Composer)

Moderated by Jonah Corne (Film Historian)

Avant-garde music composer Sergey Kuryokhin caused a sensation in 1991 when he claimed that Lenin was a mushroom and a radio wave on the Soviet TV show 5th Wheel. According to Kuryokhin, this was a secret of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution led by Lenin. Within a short period of time, “Lenin is a mushroom” became a most-talked about topic of the time, and Kuryokhin was hailed as one of the first creators of “media viruses” in the Russian media.

As part of the exhibition Moon Rehearsal Tape by Aston Coles and Irene Bindithe artists present a screening of the cult broadcast, which will be followed by an experimental panel.  Within the frame of their installation, Coles and Bindi bring together a group of unlikely experts to funnel scientific, political, and artistic thought through an absurd premise.

Jonah Corne, Professor in the Department of English, Film, and Theatre at the University of Manitoba, will moderate a idiosyncratic panel including mycologist Thomas Booth; Marxist scholar Radhika Desai; and composer Matthew Patton. The panel will take up the inventive spirit of Kuryokhin’s broadcast in addressing the panelists’ diverse areas of expertise and the loose intersection of these practices.

Irene Bindi lives in Winnipeg. Her collage, film, and sound works have appeared at venues across Canada and abroad.  She is interested in the conceptual and material possibilities of alternative cinematic modes.  Since 2008 she has also collaborated on sound projects with Aston Coles.

Aston Coles is an interdisciplinary artist in Winnipeg.  His practice uses installation, sound and sculpture.  His work isn’t about anything specifically.  He works alone and collaboratively with Irene Bindi and performs solo noise as Single White Female.

Thomas Booth is a renowned mycologist and professor of Biodiversity and Ecology and Environment in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

Jonah Corne is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Film, and Theatre at the University of Manitoba. His articles on film and literature have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including, most recently,Thinking In The Dark: Cinema, Theory, Practice (Rutgers) and New Silent Cinema (Routledge).

Radhika Desai teaches politics at the University of Manitoba, Canada. She is author of the highly esteemed Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire.

Composer and artistic director of the Winnipeg New Music Festival, Matthew Patton, has collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists, such as choreographer Paul Taylor, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and director Guy Maddin. He has also worked as an artist’s assistant with sculptor Richard Serra in New York City.

Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, and we extend gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.

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For media inquiries please contact: Janique Vigier at or by phone at (204) 942-1043 ext. 27