This work, created in the St. Petersburg subway, is inspired by Gogol's 1836 novella of the same title, in which a man's nose absurdly becomes independent from his body.
In the story, this empty, pompous man, Major Kovalev, loves outward appearances and pursues high status and recognition from higher officials. When he realizes his nose is gone and is on his way to report it to the police, he runs into his nose on the street. Embarrassingly, it is wearing a state councilman's uniform (a position three ranks higher than his own). According to Gogol, the nose is the most important external representation of a person's anatomy. By losing one's nose, one is torn from their sense of security and loses self-confidence.