XI Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award-giving Ceremony will happen in 2020. This time Ceremony will take place at Malcevsky market — the oldest market in St. Petersburg.
The Award is given to painters, curators, writers, journalists and musicians, in whose work the innovative ideals of Sergey Kuryokhin are given in new perspective.
This year the Award will be given in 8 nominations:
Best Visual Art Project Best Media Object Best Curatorial Project Best Public Art Best Text on Contemporary Art Honorary "SKIF" nomination (experimental musical project) and a new nomination — Best Science Art Project
as well as Special Prize of Institut Francais.
The Award-giving Ceremony takes place as a part of the Art Mechanics Festival, in and of itself becomes a remarkable event in the cultural life of St. Petersburg and Russia.
This time event's format and its aims will be seriously reinterpreted. Ceremony will be held on the premises of Malcevsky market, its employees will participate as co-authors of the Ceremony as well as guest artists and musicians. Director of the Award-giving Ceremony is Nikolai Komyagin, leader of Shortparis band.
According to the director, among aesthetical aims of the Ceremony is to clash forms of elitist with mass, sacral with profane art, and to renew artistic language through literal contact with everyday life. Declaring the Ceremony as a self-sufficing expression, its authors are searching for new ways to address immediate artistic and social problems.
ADA MUKHINA, ALENA PAPINA, OLGA TARAKANOVA, DARIA IURIICHUK
СARIES* OF СAPITALISM is a performative platform for presenting and funding the projects addressing the issues of precarity and exploitation in the theatre industry. The performance was born as a joke about the similar pronunciation of the words "caries" and "precarious" (in English, one mostly speaks of "cavity"; in Russian, it is "caries") in a lunchtime conversation, during a week-long BlackBox Residency at the Meyerhold Theatre Centre in Moscow, unpaid and providing no food and accommodation. "Caries" was awarded the 2nd prize, and by spring a production grant from the Ministry of Culture has been confirmed by Meyerhold Centre.
Now, it is a collaborative theatre piece by Ada Mukhina, Alena Papina, Daria Iuriichuk and Olga Tarakanova. The creators all come from different backgrounds, but each of us deals with precarity one way or the other: Ada as an independent theatre director and, as she calls herself, a "nomadic artist" constantly travelling inside Russia and also to Germany, the UK, the USA etc., Alena as a freelance choreographer and dance teacher, Daria as a freelance choreographer and a visiting lecturer at the university, and Olga as a freelance theatre critic and a final year BA student with vague job perspectives.
However, Caries of Capitalism aims not only to share the creators' personal experience and concerns, but to raise the general awareness of precarity and to mobilise the professional community. So, four more precarious theatre workers were selected to join the team through the open call process. During the rehearsal month of (modestly) paid work, they designed their projects addressing precarity and exploitation. On stage, they present their ideas to the public, and compete for a quarter of the ticket sales. The winner is chosen by the audience by secret vote.
* in Russian, "caries" stands for "cavity"
MYSTERY OF HIGH PRESSURE
YURI KVYATKOVSKIY, YULIA BICHKOVA, ANTON KOCHURKIN, NIKOLAY POPOV, MIKHAIL DEGTYAREV
On 21th of december 2019, the Power Engineering Plant in the city of Chekhov turned into a theatre stage for several hours. At this day Alexander Lebedev Charity Reserve Fund and "8 Lines" project group have presented site-specific opera Mystery of High Pressure directed by Yuri Kvyatkovsky.
Mystery is a world of ministries, sacraments and initiations. Whoever contemplates mystery is approaching the truth. In Latin, word misterium meant not only cultic ceremonies, but also crafts. Labor had a ministration nature. In medieval Europe mysteries were the work of craft guilds and workshops. Craftsmen and workers staged performances on eternal topics that took place in various styles, were repeated in cycles and were dispersed throughout the city, forcing the spectator to move from point to point. People of labor created living pictures in order to manifest this world a little clearer for themselves and others. Since then, a lot has changed, but not all. And this "not all" is exactly an initiation into the Mystery of High Pressure, created in cooperation with workers collective of Chekhov Energomash. This is an immersion into the sacrament of creation.
RATMIR VANBUUREN TARUTS
RATMIR VANBUUREN TARUTS arose in 2017 as a performative / sound design / poetic project by contemporary artist Aleksei Taruts. RVT is primarily a series of rare performances focusing on the psychophysiological experience of the concert situation, rather than a full-fledged musical project. RVT is critical of music, presenting it as one of the sound effects produced by a culture of late capitalism. In RVT appearances, instantly stunning harsh noise events and gravitational fields of hypnotic bass parts, referring to stadium eurotrance music, encounter while the presence of vocals is reduced to episodic verbal messages that have the character of spells. Currently, RVT is interested in the dark euphoria generated by the mega-events of trance and edm music, where temporary communities are formed in an effort to overcome technological stress with even greater technological stress. In the group name RATMIR VANBUUREN TARUTS each word denotes a particular mode of cultural production. RATMIR — a broken promise of media efficiency; VANBUUREN — euphoric shock of a trans open air; TARUTS — event management and mediation. Currently, RATMIR VANBUUREN TARUTS is performed by Aleksei Taruts and guest artists, including black metal vocalists and dancers. The project can also be presented as a phonogram without the participation of people.
ORGAN OF MEMORY
The performance Organ of memory by Egor Rogalev offers new ways of understanding the events associated with the massive political repressions of 1937–1938 in the Soviet Union, which directly affected people with sensuous impairments.
In the case of the so-called "Leningrad deaf-mute affair" 55 deaf people were detained by NKVD in August 1937 for creating a terrorist organisation. Most of them later were executed or sent to Gulag. The arrest of the main suspects occurred during the general rehearsal of the play How the Steel Was Tempered after the novel by Nikolay Ostrovsky designated to the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution. The plot of Ostrovsky's semi-autobiographic novel is based on the story of Pavel Korchagin who is constantly struggling to become a conscious communist subject while overcoming the limitations of his own body which is collapsing during the dramatic events of revolution and civil war.
The work is based on the reading of Nikolay Ostrovsky's novel How the Steel Was Tempered in Russian sign language in the presence of the Theremin sensors. Sensors respond with sound signals to the movements of the hands of deaf performers. The sound is then processed to low frequencies to be available on the tactile level as vibrations.
The biomechanical concept of "Alive Motion" developed by Russian physiologist Nikolay Bernstein in 1920s is also essential for the project. Bernstein considered that the motions of a living organism should be surveyed as external organs with the properties, intrinsic to anatomic organs: "At first, the alive motion reacts, secondly, it possesses the quality of the regular evolution and involution." His concepts has influenced the important new approaches in Russian avant-garde sound practices including the inventions of Léon Theremin. A biomechanical approach inspired by Bernstein allows focusing on the plastique of sign language, which suddenly reflects the monumental heroics of the novel. Organ of memory projects the biomechanics of the gesture onto the screen of sound affect, linking memory and experience in a moment when the resources of familiar sign systems are exhausted.
Presented in National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, March 2019; Ostrovsky Integration Cultural Center, Moscow, May 2019; Botanical Garden of Moscow State University, July 2019.
NICK KHAMOV AND ENGINEERING THEATRE AKHE COMPOSER DENIS ANTONOV
Сlassic story is like public art, scenography is like an added reality to landscape view, elements and objects of an action are like a kinematic installation.
FAUST. LABOR by AKHE Theater is a multidisciplinary project that accumulates many genres and ideas of street art, accessible to understanding for all ages and preferences.
In 2018, the kinematic drama Faust 3.0 appeared in the repertoire of the "GUNPOWDER" (theater's residence), in which the hero's desire to achieve everything in the world turned into a desire to construct an ideal machine as a symbol of dominance. The literary basis was the «reincarnation» of the text written by Maxim Isaev based on Johann Spies's People's Book. Theatrical production developed, ideas accumulated, new mechanisms appeared.
Finally, it became clear that these ideas and machinery become crowded in the classical space of the theatre in every sense. Therefore, AKHE decided to create a street version as a performance installation. The show itself with elements of the "new circus", an interactive gig, a music concert (author's music by theatre composer Denis Antonov) and a magical attraction of objects is a vivid example of a modern synthetic project accessible for various audience.
The performance was created as a kit, which makes it easy to adapt the scenography to the site: whether it is a factory hangar, port or central square. This «kit» does not need additional scaffolding, jenny or layer construction, the design is self-supporting, as well as environmentally friendly to any public place or landscape. Environmental friendliness is achieved through use of materials made only from wood, paper, sand and clay. Also, scenography and kinematic objects are self-sufficient and are used as an art installation.
Metamodern performance about Russian Breadth based on anonymous stories from the Internet.
Directed by Alexandr Artyomov
Music by Nastasya Khrustcheva
Text by Alexandr Artyomov and Nastasya Khrustcheva
With the support of Theatre of Nations: "Theatres of Atomic Cities" lab.
The concept of «Russian Breadth» includes the categories of the beyond, boudlessness, meanings that are out of the scope of comprehension. «Russian Breadth» is an endless road that goes into the perspective, wide forest meadows, an infinite open fields and an endless water horizons. According to academic Dmitry Likhachev, breadth, emptiness and infinity together constitute the fundamental structure of the «Russian Сode».
The play «Широта» (Russian word «широта» means «breadth») is based on anonymous stories from the Internet — modern folklore — and represents consistent process of building of the new Russian integrity. Throughout the performance, musical and literary Russian Сode will be gradually collected — by atoms, by prime elements, word by word, story by story.
A performance based on a new musical text by the Belarusian playwright Pavel Pryazhko.
In Two Rings, Pryazhko refers to an earlier era, exploring the melosphere of the 1970s, the work of vocal and instrumental ensembles (VIA) — and builds a track list according to the laws of musical drama, unlike DJ Pavel without giving it a cross-cutting plot.
Two Rings is a performance not about time, but about the songs themselves — they exist outside the context of time, like astronauts in space. post theater offers to immerse into the track list of Two Rings, as into hypnosis — to explore the musical pattern, slowly wander your eyes along its lines, so that at some point you start to slowly rotate along with the picture.
For authors it was really important that nobody from post theatre lived in the 70s, none of them were born yet. No-one has any personal memory about this period, participants can only use indirect remembrance from parents, from TV, from photo albums. There are lots of overlaps in current moment and the 70s as well, in Russia especially. Pryazhko uses in this play only songs of Russian and Ukrainian VIA (this Russian abbreviation means vocal-instrumental ensemble — very popular type of musical collective in the USSR). From one side it is not an accident that he uses songs only of these groups, because in every Soviet republic were lots of VIA, not only in Russia and Ukraine. But we do not try to sharpen the political context of the play. From the other side, Pryazhko is Belarussian dramaturgist and when he is working with these songs, it makes the context wider.
The important moment for authors were the songs themselves. In the performance, audience has opportunity to try to examine the musical pattern of these songs: according to Soviet laws, all songs of VIA had to be first approved by the government, before publishing, that is why most of them sound so similar to each other. When now you listen for 16 of these songs consecutively, you feel some strange feeling, like you are falling through it. This psychedelic feeling was a turning and the most inspiring point in the creation of the performance.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETER. MYTHS OF ATLANTIS AND HYPERBOREA
PROJECT CREATOR AND DIRECTOR: DONATAS GRUDOVICH, FUTURIST_THEATRE AND PARTIZAN_FILMS
The research topic of the project is the Myth itself. The myth is like a petrified lie, that is "edited" to seem like an original.
"In fact, in ancient times, Russia was a technologically superior country. In Rostov-on-Don some artifacts were found, that resemble or rather are, prehistoric analogues of modern gadgets. There is even a book written about this, and a film was made. Sadly, both were banned, and any evidence of it was destroyed. All information is kept secret and is removed from the Internet."While announcing the project in the media, the performance was cited this as "a direct quote by the director Donatas Grudovich", so the performance began prior to the premiere, during the announcement in the press.
Myths of Ancient Greece, Egyp t, India, the peoples of the North and Siberia can be found in separate locations within the city of Rostov. Spectators travel by bus along the sites scattered around the city and, with the help of a guide, "dug up" hidden artifacts. These are plates with strange symbols, fragments of statues, ancient sarcophagi, etc. In the course of the performance, random passers-by threw notes, photographs, and maps to the audience. All this is fragmentary, the carriers manage to run away from pursuers. Spectators also must run.
The plot: The Social Media Marketer Kesha, posing as a girl on the Internet, deceives people and profits from it. But soon he himself turns out to be deceived and discovers the real "conspiracy theory" against Russia. At this moment, strange artifacts were found in Rostov-on-Don, which depict gadgets of the ancient Slavs. And someone is hiding that ancient Russia had high-tech...
Donatas Grudovich began his research of the myth theme in 2013 for the exhibition in the gallery «PROTVOR» in Saint Petersburg. And since than he has regularly addressed it in various performances. In 2019 «Myths» were presented in three formats:
In the natural scenery of the еxcavation performance in Rostov-on-Don, the team also began filming the Internet series.
When we first checked out our new headphones, we noticed the box said 'improved bass by cool. We had to wonder, is this marketing jargon, or the real thing? But it only took a moment to realize that bass was not kidding.
АДА МУХИНА, АЛЕНА ПАПИНА, ОЛЬГА ТАРАКАНОВА, ДАРЬЯ ЮРИЙЧУК
«Кариес Капитализма» — спектакль-платформа для презентации и финансовой поддержки проектов по защите труда в театральной индустрии. Спектакль вырос из шутки о том, как похожи на слух слова «кариес» и «прекарий»; шутка прозвучала за обедом во время «Резиденции Blackbox» — конкурса проектов для большой сцены Центра имени Вс. Мейерхольда. Каждую осень ЦИМ собирает свободных художников в недельную лабораторию, но не предоставляет гонораров, питания, проживания для иногородних участников. «Кариес...» занял второе место в конкурсе, весной ЦИМ получил государственный грант на выпуск.
Спектакль выпустила команда из четверых создательниц: Ады Мухиной, Алены Папиной, Ольги Таракановой и Дарьи Юрийчук. Все они имеют опыт прекарности. Ада — независимый театральный режиссер и, как она говорит, «путешествующая художница» с опытом работы в России, Германии, Великобритании, США и других странах. Алена — хореограф и преподавательница танца без постоянного места работы. Даша — хореограф и приглашенная преподавательница в университете. Оля — театральная критик без постоянного места работы и студентка четвертого курса с туманными перспективами трудоустройства.
Целью «Кариеса...» было не только поделиться личным опытом и тревогой, но и рассказать о феномене прекарности зрителям и одновременно объединить профессиональное сообщество для борьбы с незащищенностью. Поэтому создательницы провели опен-колл и пригласили к участию еще четверых прекарных работниц театра: Ксению Аникееву, Асю Белую, Наталью Зайцеву, Ню Симакину. Оплачиваемые репетиции с ними длились месяц, и каждая из участниц разработала свой проект борьбы с прекарностью и эксплуатацией. В спектакле они представляют эти проекты и сражаются за четверть сборов с продаж билетов. Победительницу определяют зрители тайным голосованием.
TRANSCODED STRUCTURES: BEFORE AND AFTER MEDIA IN ABSTRACTION
I've been experimenting with collage (virtual visual semantic windows) for 30 years. However, with the advent of new computer technologiessuch as 3D modelling, collage has turned into an illusion of reality. It was now possible to dive into a virtual fantasy space, a real-life image withoutseams and stitches. This artificial space was visually more real than the real world. The modern mind had already begun to become fragmented when the new digital reality appeared and changed the properties of its visual apparatus. I register the changes in the visual perception of modern mind caused by the influence of the information flow and social networks; the way fragmented perception is formed and how it hampers freedom of choice; the loss of the ability for structural and functional analysis. I made a painting experiment. I have created 3D abstract image in Maya. Then I transferred it to canvas using methods of classical stage painting. I proved that primary digital code can be picking up by human mind subconsciously, whether he/she wills it or not. During analogue playback that has been created by artist using principles of classical painting, digital code becomes a part of the real painting. And any digital equipment like photo camera, video camera or smartphone picks up this code. It could recognise it as initially created in computer 3D object and could change its volume in augmented reality. The structural changes that music, architecture, theatre, literature, language platforms, poetry, and data storage systems underwent in the 20th century are signs of change in perception in general and the formation of synthetic perception and a new visual code.
URAL MARI. THERE IS NO DEATH
NATALIA KONRADOVA, FYODOR TELKOV, ALEXANDER SORIN
Exhibition Ural Mari. There Is No Death is the result of the self-titled project and is dedicated to the attitude of the Ural Mari people towards death. Now, many urban citizens and villagers are trying to go back to the roots, but without even noticing, they transform them. The exhibition shows not only the old traditions, but a live process of synthesising different religious and mystical notions.
Unique archive materials, interviews, songs and videos collected in the field, as well as elements of the traditional Ural Mari costume, were used for the exhibition.
The exhibition consists of three sections. Visitors make a journey from the space of life to the space of death and go back.
1. Section «Life» tells about modern life of Ural Mari people, which hardly differs from the life of other villagers in Russia. A separate theme is the interior design of village houses.
2. The main section is «Transition», which is about communication with the world of the dead. Old and new rites, holidays and beliefs, everything that connects a living person with a dead one. Photographs and a soundtrack based on recordings of ritual songs expose this topic figuratively and symbolically, texts and videos carry a documentary load. The first part of «Transition» is a black «grove» of columns of various rectangular cross-section, in which lightboxes with photos, tablets with videos and texts are installed. In the second, white part, there is a huge sacrificial altar table with white tableware, salt, flour and egg shells — the main ingredients of Mari cooking and domestic magic. On the white walls there are displayed exhibits — text posters with dreams retellings of the Ural Mari people, in which they communicate with deceased relatives, and items of traditional Mari clothing.
3. Section "Death». Here are the photographs from Mari family archives and images of abandoned houses, which can be viewed through special eye holes in the wall, cinema hall, where the multimedia dedicated to death is shown.
The site-specific Cement Operetta installation was shown at the Lookout Festival of Contemporary Art, curated by Elena Gubanova (The North-West branch of the National Center for Contemporary Art, July 2019). The exhibition project was implemented on the territory of Fort Konstantin. Located in the Gulf of Finland, the fortress is one of the many structures of the Kronstadt defence complex. The objects of the festival participants were located in the former artillery casemates.
The idea of my project was based on a combination of my archival research and modern art practice. Studying the history of cement production, I found that during certain years in the 19th century, all cement production in the Russian Empire went to the construction of the fortifications of Kronstadt, which means that a large number of excellent schools, palaces, museums or other cultural institutions were not built.
My installation was located in three interconnected rooms and consisted of six ornamental fragments. The length of each fragment was about 3 meters. Embossed stripes were made in the form of casts from original palatial panels of the 19th century. Flowers, leaves, and other ornamental details are a common element of conventional belle epoque Theater Architecture Design. Each part was cast from cement mortar directly in the exposition space.
The project was supplemented with an audio-visual historical component: facsimile prints of the musical score (prompter script) of the operetta Der lustige Krieg (The Merry War) (1903, J. Strauss, from the archive of Theatre of Musical Comedy) and its edited audio fragments where I had deleted all the male voices. As a result, the audience could hear military marches performed only by women characters.
LOST & FOUND NORTH-7 EXPEDITION
Project Lost & Found North-7 Expedition was created by North-7 art group from St. Petersburg with the support of V-A-C Foundation specially for M HKA Museum. The main artistic task of the project was to find an appropriate form of representation for huge and non-structured archive of the group, existing in St. Petersburg since 2013, appropriate to represent the group's practices to the audience not intent to the local context which is familiar to us.
The final form of installation created in the round hall of M HKA Museum and opened in September, 2019 refers to the concept of the "museum inside the museum" — an idea to rebuild an imagined exposition of the traveling museum of North-7 art group as self-organized institution inside the other institution — M HKA Museum. The main conceptual part of the installation was formed by North-7 archival materials: video documentation of performances and actions as well as videos created specially for the project.
Thus, investigation of numerous disparate archival materials became the main conceptual part of the work under the project. Here the artists faced an impossibility to implement scientific chronological approach as well as disability of partly missed fragmentary documents to fully reflect the spirit of any action and happening, performance or initiative. Therefore, the artists took pseudo-documentary approach as the only acceptable where archival materials were used as an artistic material for virtual recreation of the new art work reflecting the point of view on the object of documentation from the current moment and context. This approach was expressed in the name Lost & Found North-7 Expedition itself: basically, an artist or curator needs to rediscover and rebuild with his imagination, as if working on ancient civilisation excavations, the image of artistic practices which were processual and rooted in local context. Herewith the form of representation of an archive would always reflect current historical context and modern way of view on the concerned artistic phenomenon.
A PACK OF MALINGERERS
Anna Nova Gallery presents an exhibition by Alexander Dashevskiy celebrating the 10-year anniversary of partnership between artist and gallery. The exposition appears to be an ironical biopic about Alexander's artistic practice. New project "A Pack of Malingerers" follows the previous series "Partial Losses" (2013) "The Fallen and the Dropped Out" (2016) and becomes the third episode of the thrilling story about painting genre mutations emerged during the artists's working process.
Of all the symbolic "deaths" in the intellectual history of the 20th century, the "death of painting" was interpreted most literally. Duchamp actually stopped making paintings. Many critics later declared it a "doomed genre" as they examined its sins in detail. Does it broadcast a politically conservative agenda? Does its mimicry dim the enthusiasm of viewers, training them for passive contemplation and teaching them to enjoy captivating imitations? Does it indulge the taste of collectors by easily matching their interiors? In poster format, such questions may evoke a grin or irritation. But anyone who cherishes this form of art uses these questions to crystallize their understanding of painting. Alexander Dashevskiy decided to counter this literal death with a literal resurrection through new painting formats. For previous projects in the exhibitions "Partial Losses" (2013) and "Fallen and Dropped Out" (2016), he contrived canvas stretchers in irregular shapes, freeing figures from the background, breaking the image into fragments and implying that they can grow and change their shape like living beings, or applying shadow to a painted work in a way that juxtaposes mimesis against the laws of physics. "A Pack of Malingerers" was conceived by Dashevskiy as the last part of this trilogy, a continuation of his glorious, defiantly cheerful campaign for "the liberation of figurative painting" (and knowingly doomed to failure). Liberation from what? The exhibition, which is an ironic biopic dedicated to the artist's practice, seems to be the answer to this question.
SOLDIERS OF THE SUN OR THE RIGHT TO THE FUTURE TENSE
Soldiers of the Sun or the Right to the Future Tense is a site-specific installation at the Museum of Hygiene in Saint-Petersburg presented during ProArte Foundation's 15th "Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum Festival". Lerman saw the anthropocentric museum collection as an inversion of a natural history museum, where nature presents a danger to humankind. Questioning this narrative, the artist entered a dialogue with three exhibits at the museum: the poster on the photo-toxic properties of the Giant Hogweed, the taxidermy of Pavlov's dog and the glass anatomical figures. Her intervention consisted of a music video, in which the plant tells its post-Soviet story and a series of cyanotypes, an early photographic process created by exposing photosensitive paper to UV light.
These analog "sun prints" present an indexical image of abstracted figures, gadgets such as smartphones and drones, and the Giant Hogweed. This invasive, photo-toxic species infesting post-Soviet territories today was initially imported into the USSR as experimental livestock feed. The plant got out of control after the collapse of the Soviet Union and was demonised. Both the process implicit in creating cyanotypes and the poison born of the Giant Hogweed's foliage are triggered by the sun. In 1842 the botanist Anna Atkins created the album of British Algae using cyanotype technique. In response, Lerman created her own life-size album of the age of the Anthropocene.
A cyanotype self-portrait as Pavlov's dog was placed next to the famous taxidermy of the dog showcasing classical conditioning experiments. By engaging with Pavlov's work in the era of the digital, Lerman reminder of our newly developed algorithmically-conditioned addiction to social media the new technological conditioning.
DEATH, IMMORTALITY AND THE SUBTERRANEAN WORLD
The essay-exhibition is based on the project Yosso: the permafrost (Yakutsk, 2016), reworked and supplemented with new material, including Uralian. The project deliberately blurs the boundaries between artistic, curatorial and research activities. The author showed other people's pieces, but was listed as an artist since he formed original narrative from heterogeneous material (including non-artists, such as necromancer Anatoly Moskvin), and even participated in the creation of some works.
The narrative has three parts: The Underworld; Batyr, Modernizer and Necromancer; Techno-animism and Immortality in the Lower world. The first probes various animistic and spiritual traditions regarding their view on the subterranean world. The second depicts heroes who set out to lower world to find resources, including knowledge, truth and inspiration, such as local historian Yury Dmitriev or artist Sergey Yudichev. The third deals with contemporary techno-animistic views, where archaic knowledge systems hybridise with extractive economies and new technologies such as cloning.
The project invokes a new chthonopolitics — a rethinking of death and immortality in the context of their dialectical unity and close connection with the internal forces of the Earth. In particularly, the geological feminism insists on the animate nature of the Earth and calls, in the light of post humanism and speculative contemporaneity, for the need to negotiate with the spirits/forces of the Earth and our ancestors. Here animism joins with the Anthropocene's problematics and acquires progressive ecological meanings.
The project received further development in The Foundation of the Religious Libertarians for the Riga Biennale 2020.
DANIIL ANTROPOV, KONSTANTIN GREBNEV
Post-industrial society generated the sense of instability as the permanent condition of the world. In order to reflect artistically that medley and disarray so characteristic of today, it is essential to go after unconventional concepts and extraordinary strategies of exploring form. Boundaries of professional thinking are widening, new potential of handling medium is revealed.
Creating an artefact is described in accordance with the philosophy of handicraft as a transformation of a raw material by imposing a form which is preconceived as a plan of creation. Denying functionalism and substituting it with "atemporal decompositional method of dealing with form understood as a series of fragments — signs without meaning". This is a symbiosis of spatial structures of heterogeneous conceptual basis, a transition of matter from soft to solid state.
Permanent acceleration of technology development, speed and opportunity to travel globally, and processes of globalisation widen the self-perception of humanity and its perception of the world. An overwhelming abundance of information fuels the feeling of confusion in the face of the modern world. Future shock, according to Alvin Toffler, gives place to present shock because of accelerating adaptation to the outer changes.
All these processes bring about the transformation of traditional medium, as well as the emergence and development of a "new" one. In the case of "new media", it is the methods that provide a field for reflection. Such are the use of new technologies for purposes other than intended, error handling in computer algorithms, the control of received information while creating digital objects, deliberate assumption of visual distortion, minimalism and propensity to the abstract expression of imagery.
Ustina Yakovleva's artistic practice is largely based on tactile experience: working with memory through remembering and forgetting. She creates new images and forms that grow out of primal structures and gradually multiply. These jellyfish-like forms merge otherwise incompatible features from nature and beg for new interpretations. Her work presents a perpetual process of reproduction and decay of living organisms that are paradoxically interwoven with dead matter.
Preserving the memory of handcrafts, these subtle objects remind us of the value of time and of labors of love. Yakovleva's creative practice spans into two temporal dimensions—a long laborious meditative process of embroidery and a revisiting of the ancient practice of creating ritual objects—that overlap with each other to generate new senses of perception.
According to Ancient Greek mythology, Ariadna's thread is a way out of Minotaur's labyrinth, escaping death. Yakovleva's art creates another labyrinth in order to escape a new threat—the rigidity of comfortable eternal life. The immortal jellyfish is a source of inspiration for Yakovleva: this creature can reverse its biological cycle and, by constantly changing its forms, is able to bypass death.
The installation Waiting consists of three parts.
1 part — Waiting Room site-specific installation
2 part — Laboratory/creative workshop installation
3 part — Waiting Room 2 video installation
The site-specific installation Waiting Room is created in a room which served as a place to prepare dogs before sending them to an operating theatre or sound chamber.
In the center of the room is a metal table with the following words engraved on the surface
"When I begin an experiment where the animal will die at the end, I feel a heavy sense of regret that I am cutting short a vibrant life, that I am the executioner of a living being. When I cut up and destroy a living animal, I suppress in myself the severe reproach that with my rough and ignorant hand I am breaking an inexpressibly artistic mechanism. But I endure this in the interests of truth and benefiting humanity." Ivan Petrovich Pavlov
The video Pavlov's Dogs is projected on one wall of the room.
A discussion about the future relationship between the human and artificial intelligence is held in the second part Laboratory/creative workshop.
Video interviews with scientists, a philosopher and the artist can be seen and heard in the video frames on the tables.
Video installation Waiting Room 2. Through a doorway that leads from the laboratory/creative workshop to the last room, we observe a shadow of a person walking in the next room, approaching the door from time to time.Who is it? A person, a hybrid or a completely artificial body… This shadow is an allegory of the future — it is blurry and its outlines cannot be seen clearly.
In the framework of the project New Anthropology. Techno Art Center, Pavlov Institute of Physiology Russian Academy of Sciences, The I. P. Pavlov Memorial Apartment-Museum in Koltushi, Saint Petersburg, 2019
14th of December 2019 — 26th January 2020 Museum of nonconformist art (St. Petersburg)
Vladlen Gavrilchik (1929-2017) was a legendary Leningrad-based nonconformist artist and poet. He discovered drawing already as a child and started with copying scenes from newspapers and school books. He couldn't receive professional artistic training, but dreamed of becoming an artist his whole life.
Creative work of V. Gavrilchik — both paintings and poetry — is based on the method of citation, parody, homage. At the same time, by working with adopted images and scenes, the artist fills them with completely new meanings and messages. Primitivist façade dissembles a deep philosophic reflection.
Recognisable artistic language of V. Gavrilchik was formed in the 1960-70s. He invents so called "topographic style", "biological style" for landscapes and "parsuna style" (linked to Russian portraits of the early 17th century) for portraits. In early 1980s V. Gavrilchik creates socially oriented paintings, many-figured compositions based on photographs and actively works in the genre of still life.
Since late 1960s V. Gavrilchik participated in all major exhibitions of unofficial art, including legendary events at the Gaza and Nevsky House of culture (1974-1975), a number of apartment exhibitions and the shows of the Fellowship of Experimental Fine Arts. He united students and followers who in 1986 formed a group called "Drawing circle".
The heritage of V. Gavrilchik is very diverse, distinctive, ironic, playful. It holds an important place in the history of Leningrad and St. Petersburg art. he exhibition at the Museum of nonconformist art was based on works from private St. Petersburg collections and offered a rare opportunity to get to know the art of V. Gavrilchik from different periods of his life.
For the exhibition finnisage a memorial evening program was held: Anatoly Belkin and Viacheslav Gaivoronsky performed V. Gavrilchik's poetry along with music.
ZDanevich: HERE and NOW
CURATORS: MIKHAIL POGARSKY, VASILY VLASOV
3rd of December 2019 — 2nd of February 2020
Organised by AVC Charity fund
Project celebrates the 125th anniversary of birth of poet, artist and publisher Ilya Mikhailovich Zdanevich and the 70th anniversary of the publication of his renowned anthology Poetry of Unknown Words.
Exhibition establishes a dialogue between contemporary art and artists and poets of the last century, synthesizing the artistic styles of different epochs and countries. Project consists of five thematic sections. Displayed in the first section are Ilya Zdanevich's books — his avant-garde editions of the early 20th century and the books in the genre of livre d'artiste. The second section presents an homage to Ilya Zdanevich in the genre of livre d'artiste by contemporary artists. The third section focuses on the collection Poetry of Unknown Words, produced by Ilya Zdanevich as a reaction to the movement of Lettrisme. Specially for the exhibition, the anthology was for the first time translated into Russian. Shown in the fourth section are biographical documents related to the period of Zdanevich's life when he was working on Poetry of Unknown Words. The fifth section is the works of contemporary artists devoted Iliazd (art-object, installation, painting and graphics).
As part of the exhibition an international conference dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the publication of Poetry of Unknown Words. There was a musical performance based on the poem Maxims Without Passwords by Mikhail Pogarsky created by the "Round Band" group (led by Alexey Kruglov). The famous dra by Ilya Zdanevich Yanko krUl albAnskay was staged. A series of art performances and musical evenings took place. An art-documentary video about the project was created and project catalogue in three volumes was published.
MELIORATION, OR 12TH LESSON ON POST-EXOTICISM
CURATORS: IRINA AKSENOVA AND TATIANA DANILEVSKAYA
4th of October — 11th of October 2019
With the support of Voronezh "Center for Contemporary Art"
Melioration* is a result of FFTN's two-years work in the contemporary art field of Saint-Petersburg. Curators betray the usual tactics of elusiveness and, being inspired by the attitude of the theoretician Irit Rogoff, declare the politics of separation between the representative function of the exhibition space and the function of the actual event itself (curating vs curatorial). However, the project doesn't manifest it bluntly — otherwise, it whispers with the wind, murmurs with the water and rustles with the grass of the local landscape. Finding itself in the middle of the big cultural event, being a sort of "honeypot" for outlander guests, FFTN applies aesthetics and temporality of post-exoticism**, elaborated by French literature tradition (from Frantz Fanon to Antoine Volodine). The center and periphery, voices, that represent various cultures and approaches are mixing to mask postcolonial trends, melioration and fertilisation (at whose expense?). What eventually should we do to make those planted to bear fruit? To drain or to moisture, to transgress or to build the borders?
*Melioration is a complex of long-term and intensive activities to improve the soil fertility.
**Post-exoticism is a definition within the French literature studies, a personal method of writer Antoine Volodine, who reproduced himself in various nicknames.
УБЕЖИЩЕ/SUOJA/SHELTER FESTIVAL-LABORATORY. VOL.2
CURATORS: KSENIA YURKOVA, ANASTASIA VEPREVA, CORINA L . APOSTOL
7th of June — 9th of June 2019
More than 30 artists and cultural practitioners from the Nordic Countries, Baltic Countries, Eastern Europe, Russia are invited to Suoja/ Shelter Festival-Laboratory. Vol.2 to build an intense public program engaging the audience to join in reflections on the challenging questions of the present. The practices encompass media-art, installations in situ, performance art and education, featured by experimental accesses and audacious methodologies.
Festival conception: In the centre of Helsinki, there is a deep cave in the rock almost 100 meters long. This is a bomb shelter built during the Cold War. Located within the global rock of the capitalist world the shelter is represented in the present while at the same time is hidden from it. Therefore, it is from within the shelter that we can overcome the rhetoric of the "Cold War" and the creative logic of cognitive capitalism too by imagining a world of new sensitivity and non-toxic communication.
The curatorial statement for Vol.2: «Cosmopolitics, Comradeship, and the Commons. Ecology in Action for a Shared Planet».
How may we as artists, citizens, activists, students, and community organisers re-think and develop radical, counter-hegemonic practices that help us re-imagine climate resilience and enable the creation of a new commons? Drawing on Isabelle Stengers' concept of "Cosmopolitics», where diverse stories, perspectives, and practices connect to lay the foundation for new strategies and radical possibilities, the Festival act as a temporary commons for diverse approaches to the ecological crisis and its economic, social and cultural affects and effects.
MAN THE SIZE OF A HOUSE EXHIBITION IN MEMORY OF DMITRY BRUSNIKIN
CURATOR: KSENIA PERETRUKHINA
22th of October — 17th of November 2019
Moscow Museum of Modern Art,
Concept author and producer: Ekaterina Yakimova
Head of the exhibition department, producer: Alexey Novoselov
Man the Size of a House is a large-scale exhibition devoted to the memory of Dmitry Brusnikin (1957-2018), an actor, director, teacher who has educated several generations of talented performers, and the founder of Masterskaya Brusnikina — one of the most interesting theatre companies in Russia over the recent years. Spread across five floors of MMOMA Education Center, the exhibition project creates an interactive space exploring the legacy of Dmitry Brusnikin. Brusnikin's personal belongings, photographs, films and performances, as well as stories and legends from those who knew him, fall together into a portrait of the man who has played a major part in the development of theatre over the recent years. Like Alice behind the looking glass, visitors can explore the world of Brusnikin, opening big and small doors in search of a recipe of contemporary art from a kind giant who was able to reform the theatre through love and care.
"Brusnikin was incredibly in tune with his time: he was interested in the working process, in collective work. He was a genius of communication, a bridge between traditionalists and experimental artists. He passed away at a high point in his creative career, when his phenomenal work as a teacher and Kulturträger had already been noticed but had not been properly studied. This exhibition is a love letter as much as an exploration of Brusnikin's personality and creative experience in search of a recipe for a contemporary theatre — for a certain way of being for a theatre community."
LIFE AFTER LIFE
IDEA: PAVEL PRIGARA CURATOR: ELIZAVETA PAVLYCHEVA ARTISTIC CONSULTANT: VITALY PUSHNITSKY
9th of April 2019 — 22nd of May 2019
Manege Central Exhibition Hall
Life after Life was an art exhibition aiming to show how artists from St. Petersburg have used visual arts (painting, graphics and sculpture) to explore themes of death and immortality. Life after Life focused on philosophical questions related to ontology rather than on specific stylistic or historical phenomena, thereby distinguishing it from most other exhibitions. 23 museums and 30 private collections took part in the project of the Manege Central Exhibition Hall. In total, around 300 pieces by 130 different artists were exhibited.
One of the objectives of the exhibition — and the subsequent exhibition catalogue — was to attempt to build an internal dialogue between works of art created in various eras from 1725 to 2019 and via various media. The method we settled on was to combine two/three/four pieces pertaining to various eras and aspects into a single and fully formed artistic and philosophical statement. This approach gave rise to a vast array of meanings, which each visitor was free to formulate for themselves in line with their world view and experience of visual perception. Society today is permeated with multiple identities. This in turn enables both artist and curator to develop a multidimensional statement. Each individual can then apply their own understanding to it.
The unorthodox layout of the space also helped in this regard, enabling visitors to appreciate the symmetry which formed over the course of centuries, as well as view a form of exhibiting and presenting material from a different angle.
Thus, the exposition turned into an independent artwork of a curatorial group including Pavel Prigara, Elizaveta Pavlycheva, Vitaly Pushnitsky in collaboration with modern designers Alexander Kriventsov, Anastasia Nesudimova, composer Misha Mishchenko and a galaxy of contemporary St. Petersburg artists.
"THE LOOKOUT" THE FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART AT FORT KONSTANTINE
CURATOR: ELENA GUBANOVA
13 – 14 July 20 9, Kronshtadt, Fort Konstantine
Organiser: North-West Branch of the NCCA as part of ROSIZO
General Partner: Third Park JSC and Morskaya League CJSC
Strategic Partner: CYLAND MediaArtLab
A fort is like a fortified border, a line between two spaces, "ours" and "theirs". A fort is a kind of a camera obscura where the world landscape, observed through the loopholes, can be viewed by the artist upside down. Is the sea horizon a line of potential danger or an alluring line of freedom? Or is it a "line of waiting", as with Penelope, the heroine of the ancient Greek myth, "sometimes despairing, then again believing that he will return," she remains faithful to Odysseus. There are narrow corridors — the batteries with the remains of the rails, small rooms for storing shells with holes in the walls reminiscent of Anish Kapoor's, a floor that is damp even in the summer heat, and booming Echo that has settled in this concrete box forever. The artists created objects and installations, historical interventions based on the artistic interpretation of the genius loci that unravel the concepts of the border, the relationship between "us" and "them", the discovery of the new land and the waiting.
Сurator Elena Gubanova.
Artists: Vladimir Abikh, Marina Alekseeva, Daniil Arkhipenko, Stas Bugs, Peter Bely, Olga Bozhko, Eldar Ganeev, Ivan Govorkov, Elena Gubanova, Alexey Grachev, Pavel Ivanov, Pavel Ignatev, Dmitry Kavarga, Sergey Katran, Sergey Komarov, Irina Korina, Vladimir Rannev, Sergey Karlov, Kirill Spasskov, Alexander Terebenin, Alena Tereshko, Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai, Tatyana Akhmetgalieva, Masha Godovannaya, Vika Ilyushkina, Boris Kazakov, Denis Patrakeev, Andrea Stanislav, Marina Fedorova, Sid Yandovka
OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR
5TH URAL INDUSTRIAL BIENNIAL'S ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM EXHIBITION
CURATORS: KRISTINA GORLANOVA, ARTYOM ANTIPIN, ANNA LITOVSKIKH
10 artists and art collectives from Russia and other countries were invited to work in towns of Ural and Siberia and create their projects a part of art residency program. While studying various aspects of contemporary industriality of the region, artists engaged with local people, productions, archives and histories and completed several artworks, which were shown in a curated exhibition at the main venue of 5th Ural biennial — Ural Optical- Mechanical Plant.
"From the very beginning, the Ural Industrial Biennial aimed to research this context, and the Artist-in-Residence Program meets this purpose to the fullest extent.
Point of view of an invited artist is always one of the outsider. This view, at first, detects differences, Lingering on the forms of quarries, or the texture of mine walls, or on the rhythm of a three-meter hammer. But local context and history provide an opportunity to talk about processes that are hardly unique. Production permeates all areas of the past and the present, and hence, shapes the future, but industries cannot be in control of all the consequences of their ongoing work and inexorable movement. There are numerous strategies for responding to these consequences: to actively protest and to independently engineer one's reality; to adopt and morph the practices employed by institutions of power; to address the past and manipulate it from the present; to accept, to accustom, and to grow weary; to attempt actions doomed from the start to be inefficient."
CURATOR: IRINA AKTUGANOVA PRODUCER: ANNA APOLLONOVA
Artists: Where Dogs Run, Vtol::, A. Alekhina, VA_Lab, E. Nikonole and N. Fedorova, E. Strelkov and D. Hazan, Y. Didevich, A. Martynenko, O. Gonserovskaya, M. Alekseeva, L. Belova, B. Shershenkov
Scientists: A. Kharauzov, D. Podvigina, V. Semenova, A. Zhuravlev, T. Zachepilo, E. Savateeva-Popova, O. Vetrovoy, T. Moshonkina
Experts: D. Bulatov, L. Strelnikova, E. Rybnikova, A. Mitrofanova, A. Sokolov, D. Malkov, G. Preobrazhensky
Organizers: L. Andreeva, I. Gavrilenko, V. Busova, A. Kudryashov, A. Rodionova.
Joint art&science project of St. Petersburg Techno-Art-Center and Pavlov Institute of Physiology, RAS. Project was supported by a Presidential Grants Foundation.
Project is a collaboration of scientists and artists for creating artworks that comprehend and problematise biotechnological development conceived for the exposition of Pavlov Museum in Pavlovskye Koltushi, Russia's first scientific town, located near St. Petersburg.
Creation of artworks was accompanied by public discussions: round table "Bioethics and Technological Imagination" and a conference «When does biology become technology and art?".
Artists from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Ekaterinburg took part in The New Anthropology. They created 15 artworks ranging from technological art objects, immersive installations and works of media and sound art. A panel of experts in both science communication and art&science participated in evaluation and selection of projects.
The exposition is not limited to installations and objects created for the project. Various media objects are scattered throughout, including historical and contemporary videos, photographs, texts and exhibits that speak to the work of the scientists at the institute.
The New Anthropology exposition was opened on 27 September 2019.
WHERE DOGS RUN: NATALIA GREKHOVA, ALEXEY KORZUKHIN, OLGA INOZEMTSEVA, VLADISLAV BULATOV
Zero City is a number of elevator shafts of different length. Their spatial structure resembles a city where the role of each building is to move in a vertical direction. All the elevators are programmed the same way and act as a pack carrying out the general task despite the absence of a single control center. Concerted action of the pack is based on the following two incentives: to give and to receive emptiness.
An elevator that gets incoming signal transmits it by sending an empty platform to the floor chosen by the program. The elevator's doors open on the chosen floor. The elevator of the closest shaft receives the signal and then goes to the same floor and opens the doors across from the doors of the first elevator. Thus, we see the signal transfer as the transfer of emptiness throughout the city of elevators. A signal received in one place can move throughout the whole number of elevators or can subside completely. The length of the way which can be done by emptiness depends on many factors. The looser elevator just "throws out" emptiness and comes back down waiting for a new call or a system's incentive for a new attempt of transfer.
We can see the chaos of absurd attempts of free-running robots to get through to each other, to coincide in time and space in order to create their local time-space. Gradually, the elevators "forget" the directions in which they never manage to transfer a message and with each attempt the way of emptiness becomes a little bit longer; the life time of one batch of "nothing" slowly grows. Zero City turns out to be a four-dimensional coordinate structure which endlessly measures itself and its boundaries in order to find ways to increase time as the main source for "nothing".
Originally produced by the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center (Moscow).
Photo: «Time, Forward!» V—A—C Zattere, Venice Delfino Sisto Legnani e Marco Cappelletti
«Now, imagine that you try and use these good-old folk metaphors to narrate the scare stories about Russian/Chinese/North Korean hackers, post-truth, hybrid warfare, AI, context ads, abusive toxicity, and new untreatable and pervasive viruses. The fears are, of course, a matter of personal taste. Colourful bestial imagery of Kuban is different from the subterranean mythology of Ural, like Balkan vampires would differ from Norwegian trolls. Stale, sickly, swampy horrors of St. Petersburg with its bottomless well-shaped courtyards are miles apart with vengeful forest spirits of borderless Siberian lands. Ulyana Podkorytova taps the heritage of Russian northern borderlands, especially coastal areas and the Arkhangelsk Governorate.
This approach might first seem truly outlandish, unjustified syncretism — which is part of the artistic intent. A certain shock is needed for visitors of a contemporary art gallery — who grew up with Hollywood, Japanese cartoons, alien hoaxes on TV, and Netflix — to snap into a different frame of reference. But as we discover the new world offered by Podkorytova, we clearly see that it is not radical at all. The only thing that has changed is the scenery. Instead of Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in the White House — views of places I have never and will never visit, a rayok fairground peep show. Instead of zombies and green aliens — frenzied harlequins and peasants celebrating seasonal holidays. Singing and swinging and wisecracking, the Russian North sends out automated traffic tickets, disseminates fake news and propagates malware.»
From Ray'ok on an extraordinary scale by Sergey Guskov
Project is made with the support of Triumph Gallery, curator: Marina Bobyleva
THOUSANDS OF POETRY HIDE
The first and the most serious problem for any foreigner in China is language barrier. After visiting the main attractions, you face the silent culture. You see only the outside part of Chinese life, but you cannot ask what native people worry about, what they think, how they perceive this world. As a foreigner, you cannot dive into Chinese culture deeper than it is described in touristic booklet, because you do not have anyone to ask and to talk. Therefore, after visiting China there is an impression of something incomprehensible and mysterious. I felt the same after my first visit to China five years ago.
For foreigners the only guide into the world of Chinese language is the Google Translator application with camera mode that helps to see the meanings of the words online. Trying to translate Du Fu's poetry in the park of his remembrance, I found an interesting effect. The specific Chinese writing makes application to find and recognise hieroglyphs not only in the text, but also in the grass, flowers, buildings, streets, paintings, everywhere around you. It shows how the writing was born in China, because first hieroglyphs were simplified and schematic drawings of nature. In such a strange way, I create my poem about the trip to China.
Project was created at the residence of A4 Art Museum, Chengdu, China.
Camera: Alexander Mishin
Editing: Vera Herr
Sound: Bazinato and Hleb Hnevashau
Photos by Yana Tolopilo
The video NEOPHYTE, which is based on a parallel between the search for a mythical fern flower and a cache of so-called «drops» (drug trafficking method based on the use of digital anonymisers), depicts a group of young people as they roam through the woods in pursuit of happiness, however imaginary it might be. Their backs carry the repressive marks left by irons that materialise in the epilogue to combine the aesthetics of advertisements with the rite of sacrifice.
This video is a central work of a self-titled project, which blends the archaic with the post-industrial while reviving the sacred concept of humankind's inclusion in the global system. The items depicted in the video were also showcased and illuminated at the exhibition. A collection of sculptures from iron soles turned into luminous panels at the same time resembles mysterious cryptographic messages and delicate patterns of vytynanka, a traditional Belorussian ornament cut from paper.
Jura Shust was born and raised in Belarus, he currently lives and works in Berlin. In his artistic practice, Jura Shust poses questions of the connection between technology, science and biopolitics with rituals and myths.
The subject of the project is a state of not articulated but increasing anxiety related to the unpredictableness of internet-platforms developing. Over the last decade, we have gathered as much knowledge as we had gained earlier. We have reached the maximum level of comfort but we still can't predict our future and forecast possible risks. At the same time, we have to pay for the overpriced comfort — with our data and privacy. Non-transparency of new web-mechanisms of wealth distribution and control (so-called "surveillance capitalism") results in massive cognitive biases and fragmentary perception with booming conspiracy theories as one of its most radical forms.
This is the state the author defines as "absurd balance". It refers to the balance of power ready to collapse with serious consequences from any unexpected event.
The project consists of two videos and digital painting on a self-adhesive film — a cheap material used in outdoor advertising and banners.
Unsustainable, it covers a city as advertising mould. At the same time, the video acts as a source of the mould — a sharp rise in the speed of internet channels allow for video marketing to increase its presence by 70 percent every year.
This process dictates a formal installation arrangement: the video generates content to settle on walls with digital images.
THE RIVER WILL FLOW
The narrator and at the same time the heroine of her own narration involves the viewer in her study of the space, half-mythical, half-real. The world (in which she finds herself) is the world of mountains, of their mysterious nature, living its own life, and at the same time a world where people have long lived. Heroine is not involved in local history and for the first time falling into this context, geographic and sociocultural. The first thing that she sees is how natural and man-made things are inherently close. The work of thought turns out to be similar to the work of human hands and, at the same time, to the work of natural forces that form the terrestrial relief.
But the time is absolutely special in the perception of the narrator.
Nizhny Arkhyz is a place where ancient and recent history communicate. Time does not flow here, but is displayed in symbols, examined as a physical and cultural phenomenon. The road becomes the graphic embodiment of time; stones that human hands put on each other; growing branches, they are nets; fog absorbing objects. There is no past, no future, no present — there is only the path that the narrator follows, but someone else could walk. Thus, the personal beginning disappears, and depersonalisation blurs the end of history, just as the mountain road disappears in the fog.
The parts of the project are sculptures, graphics and animated films connected by a common plot. Films that run simultaneously on two screens show a different story, assembled from the same semantic elements, but at the same time penetrate into each other literally, graphically, and within plot. Drawings and sculptures bring to the fore those symbols that constitute the bearing structures of the narrative, create a material framework for the intangible digital format.
Sometimes behave so strangely is the «theater-installation" formed from video sketches, sounds and poems.
The action starts with the phrase "Sometimes behave so strangely" that music professor says while demonstrating to the students the sound "Illusion of scale" observer by Diana Doitch. Caught in the technique of "found frames" and frozen in the "boomerang" sounds, images and actions echo, interfere, reflect and receive new connotations and contexts in the installation routes. The viewer, using a pause, repeating and reflecting, discovers that he was placed in a game with an increasing atmosphere of suspense - a trap, playback and stop at the same time. In this loop I find myself last either a couple of seconds, or thirty years. In an attempt to maintain balance on the wave of the flow of images and information, I contemplate this metastable neurotic state to the theory of media that act as mirror.
OVCHARENKO presented Victor Alimpiev's exhibition: EVIL EARTH.
The first part of the exposition is a video EVIL EARTH created in 2018, which displayed at the OVCHARENKO gallery. A performance EVIL EARTH that precedes this artwork was created in collaboration with Irina Shulzhenko and was shown to the State Theatre of Nations. One of the leading Gogol Center actresses Svetlana Mamresheva and the head of the vocal ensemble of the Electrotheatre Arina Zvereva, as well as two percussionists Renata Saitova and Ulyana Shcherbakova participated in the project.
EVIL EARTH is an image inspired by anxiety: the modern form of the world, echoing in our hearts with an anxious sense of loss of this very modernity. This is the land that has reared under our feet, forcing us to dance a rather bitter dance and this is a dance of loss of coordination. The rhythm of a drum roll is a desperate gesture of salvation, opposing with an antiresonance to the deafening and imposed rhythm of anxiety.
The excited one finds an unexpected shelter in the tense, pre-thundering work atmosphere, its air about to explode. This is a paradoxical emotion of peace in the midst of the battle that was described by Ernst Junger: "Astonishment can grow enough to overshadow fear: when such a thing happens it's like a thin veil, which almost always hides the world from us, rises. It is therefore said that calm reigns in the epicenter of a cyclone"."It's a fragile, glass peace, but we are still here, My Drummer is ours".
EVIL EARTH part II
The second part of the exposition was located at Vladey Space and is a series of paintings created over the past three years. Alimpiev's figurative style of painting is similar to iconography: each painting shows a face turned to another one as if to the sun; a face with a smile collapsed into a dot; a face held by a rhetorical hand gesture, pronouncing the word "kiss" - becomes a beginning of a new series and is repeated many times.
The Borschevik Museum is a communication place, a gazebo for relaxation, a navigation beacon, an educational and information center. The tower was erected on the banks of the Okhta River as part of the "Waterfront" project. The exterior of the museum is a tower with acid yellow hogweed. The external walls of the museum are decorated with bright spots, hinting at the poisonous properties of the hogweed.
The tower consists of two levels. On the upper viewing platform, we placed a number of information plates with drawings devoted to the properties of the plant, as well as mythology, hidden in its name: • According to one version of the myth, Hercules died from the venom of hogweed. • In the Russian language of the 16th century, hogweed was called "borsch". The greenery of the plant was used to prepare the dish of the same name. • The greatest danger to humans is hogweed juice, which causes severe burns on the skin under the influence of sunlight. • Despite the toxicity, hogweed is a powerful absorber of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and a producer of oxygen.
On the lower level The Museum is located. It contains artifacts, descriptions and information tables. Most of the museum's items were found right on the spot. We also placed on the list of famous cow-brewers: 1. John Atanasius Borsch de Wieck — a monk of the Jesuit Order, who burned heretics at the stake of the Inquisition; 2. Baron Nicolas Borj e Vic — the insidious despot of medieval France, who claimed many lives of innocent women and children; 3. Petro Borsch — anarchist and leader of the "green" gang during the Civil War; 4. Ivan Ivanovich Borschevik — partisan, an active participant in the resistance; 5. Akhmat BRSch — the leader of Chechen fighters, a member of ISIS (banned in Russia); 6. Ronald Bush Trump Jr. — the President of the United States, a member of the secret Masonic lodge of the "borschaviks", the enemy of all living things; 7. Borscht 'o' Vic — Irish ecologist, specialist in natural poisons, propagandist of separate collection of garbage.
Members of the Okhta team: Anastasia Abramova, Ekaterina Grekhneva, Konstantin Yesin, Anastasia Kolesnik, Maria Lazareva, Anna Martynenko, Evgeny Tanaisov, Maria Shatunova.
With the participation of action group "Karpovka friends", the architectural bureau "Sozonych" and Mikhail Uryadov.
The art object was implemented as part of the international project "Waterfront" organised by Street Art Research Institute and Danish Cultural Institute with the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
NEW CITY ARTISTS
New City Artists is a curatorial project that involves artists with a social deprivation experience into contemporary art.
The tasks of the project include the search for bright self-taught artists, their support, development, assistance in the realisation of their talent and other opportunities, and the representation of their work. Especially for this, the project curators created an art residence in the very center of St. Petersburg. Residents of the studio are young artists from 20 to 40 years old hidden from the society in several special institutions. The creative practices of the studio residents are held in dialogue and close contact with famous St. Petersburg artists.
The project began the search for original self-taught artists in 2018. During a year 40 extraordinary authors with limited cultural and social experience visited the art residence. They gained unlimited access to art materials and were involved in the cultural life of the city. In May 2019, the first large-scale exhibition of New City Artists Hardboards was held at the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Center. An exposition of 200 works was presented by more than 20 authors, whose work had never been shown to the public before. The works of several authors were included in private collections and in the museum collection at the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Center.
Several artists were invited to participate in the seasonal exhibition of the Street Art Museum Stop, Just Fall (curator Maxim Ima, May 2019) along with other famous artists of St. Petersburg. One of the artists (Marina Monka) designed the cover of the Moscow magazine Seasons (fall 2019). The artist Zoika got an offer to organise a solo exhibition in the famous city gallery of contemporary art (NAMEGALLERY). The exhibition opened in January 2020.
The exhibition Hardboards revealed 9 powerful artists, in whose development private individuals, patrons, collectors and gallery owners began to invest. As a result of hard work in the studio after the Hardboards nine original artists under the patronage of Stas Bags opened a large-scale exhibition of New City Artists in Moscow (ROSIZO, February 2020). Moscow institutions joined the support of the project: Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin Foundation, Artmossphere, and others.
Parallel Trip is a self-organised exhibition of contemporary art in trolleybuses. Novorossiysk is a city where there are no institutions of contemporary art, so a kind of «capture by art» of four trolleybuses that plied the exhibition along the usual routes for a month became a large-scale action to introduce city residents to sovrisk (contemporary art — the Russian abbreviated term). More than twenty artists interacted with the proposed social space and created works specifically for this project. They included not only professionals from other cities, such as the "ZIP" group, Pasmur Rachuiko, Lena Kolesnikova, Yulia Shaforostova, but also local authors who are just trying their hand at modern practices. The preparation for the exhibition, the many hours installation on the territory of the Trolleybus depot, as well as the opening, which turned into a holiday for the entire city, became collective actions important for the development of the artistic community and the formation of the local environment.
The starting point for the concept of the exhibition was the utopian transport project of the beginning of the last century «Novorossiysk-Sukhumi», which could become the first trolleybus line in Russia — according to the idea of a young engineer Shubersky, the trolleybus was supposed to travel from Novorossiysk along the entire coast, connecting several resort cities. Therefore, one of the trolleybuses of the exhibition was a fictional space of a trip that supposedly still exists and travels along an unrealisable route. So there was a Parallel Trip — an utopian idea of what a trolleybus could be in a different configuration of reality: «As soon as you get into public transport, nothing depends on you. You move in space and time.» And the trolleybus itself seemed to be the transport of the future, created in the past. In each of them, a Manifesto was posted stating the artists' intention to support the electric mode of transport as the most environmentally friendly and accessible to a wide audience, since the state of the municipal trolleybus company was in a state of decline at that time. The entrance ticket to the exhibition was a ticket for a trip in a trolleybus or a travel ticket.
The project of exhibition on public transport can also be interpreted as a gesture of initiation and criticism of the situation in the city, where, due to the lack of exhibition spaces and educational platforms in the field of art, it is necessary to search for alternatives in a self-organised way.
From 2017 onwards the murals made by artist called Krasil Makar have started to appear in the streets of Yekaterinburg and other Russian cities. The artist in his free and original manner interprets the Ural-Siberian house painting technique of XVIII–XIX centuries. In his practice, Krasil Makar uses a striking technique called "bleaching" — two paints of a different colours (one of them is usually white) are put simultaneously on the brush. This technique is one of the remarkable and recognisable means of expression that have been used in Russian folk traditions. Numerous visual quotes, various elements and techniques link Krasil Makars' works with the works of peasant craftsmen. Krasil Makar uses improvisational capabilities of the picturesque technique itself and breaks down the geometry of the traditional pattern into universal elements. Thus, his works are spatially dynamic, similar to abstract artworks of avant-gardists.
Working in an art residence in Tobolsk became a fundamentally new experience for the artist. A thorough study of the local history and contemporary regional context resulted in a public art project which goes beyond traditional painting technique. Familiar elements of the traditional "one stroke" painting are endowed with a real physical volume; they've left flat surface of a wall or an object and have turned into three-dimensional inflatable sculptures. Painting comes to the objective world and its shapes revive in the atmosphere and context of a modern city, where they can move freely.
These experiments with space and movement were crowned with an interactive object, a nine meter tall trampoline. The same way as abstract elements of the house painting are assembled into an image, the trampoline was assembled from separate inflated parts. Viewers had a rare chance to find themselves «inside the painting» and experience the exciting ease of the moment in the air.
ALEKSEY LUCHKO (LUKA)
Staika is a self-constructed city shed, architectural "specialty" of the second half of the XX century in South Urals. In order to somehow support their families, residents who turned from rural life to urban kept cattle and chickens in staikas. Today, staikas are gradually becoming items of the past: they are being demolished to vacate spaces for new facilities. Artist Aleksey Luchko got the idea to preserve this phenomenon as an object of socio-cultural heritage. The artist admits that it was influence of the regional specificity, local architectural, cultural matter that served as an inspiration for the work. Artist's decision was to change the existing form of staikas, transforming the old urban heritage into an art object that inevitably connects modernity with history. The composition Staika 2607 is a volumetric construction, which can be recognised by the use of "parts" of destroyed and abandoned staikas. Materials used for the construction were both components of the old city buildings and new elements. The main structural elements are wooden workmanship — old panels, windows, doors. Artist also used corrugated board, plywood and other available modern materials. Therefore, Staika 2607 contains some of old materials that refer to the history of the city, and the clean geometric, neat, glossy shapes that are currently in use. Staika 2607 is located on a small hill, next to remaining old staikas, recalling the old buildings and urging attention to the history of their occurrence. Due to the given location, the sculptural composition dominates the rest of the environment. Positioning of the art object allows its consideration in the context of time, recalling its irreversible power and highlighting the difference between utilitarian objects and art.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM OF THE PROJECT: ALEXANDRA KOKACHEVA, ANNA MARTYNENKO, MARIA KOROLEVA, EGOR SCHABLYKIN, ALICE GORELOVA.
From 6 to 8 September 2019, the project was implemented in Tyumen city on the territory of Alabashevo lake. In advance, the group of artists studied of the area, picked up historical materials and lake's territory. Thus the project represented cultural integration in a certain space
As a result of the study, it was found that nightingales are very common in the Tyumen region, and the place adjacent to the lake is considered by ornithologists to be the most "Nightingale". So the image of a bird became a key theme of the project.
Anna Martynenko created a series of objects "Topofon", namely 3 wooden objects installed in key places of the lake: with the help of the device, the viewer could hear the singing of birds, the splash of water and the sound of a motorway passing nearby. The artist gave an unspoken choice of the most pleasant sound to the viewer's ear, focusing on the unique natural component of the place.
Anna also developed the Word object, which was created by all the artists of the project. In the process of studying the territory, material was found about the verbal designation of the cries of local birds during the mating period – these are the short letter designations that the artist used a stencil to apply to the power line support, blocking the human "footprint" in the form of obscene inscriptions on concrete.
Alexandra Kokacheva, having learned the city code design, created the "Map" object - a full-fledged index with a list of rules for the behavior of birds on the water. Ironic short statements allow the viewer to imagine themselves in a "feathered" image and assess the risk of being in the neighborhood of a person.
Maria Koroleva and Egor Schablykin created a "Handkerchief" - a 3-meter piece of fabric that the artists" covered "and" wrapped " the lake with when opening the project. The ornament of the handkerchief completely repeats the national motifs of wedding gifts, where the handkerchief served as a symbol of a woman's transition to a different state, status. In the case of lake Alabashevo, the authors convey the idea of soon turning the territory into something new, as well as its vulnerability in the process from the point of view of the ecological balance.
Alice Gorelova literally wove excerpts from a collection of articles by ornithologists about the birds of the Tyumen region from a metal wire, placing the object between the poles of the power line. "Thread" a very subtle reminder of the fragile balance between tehnogennogo and nature.
The author explores academic music through the concept of metamodern, showing how return of the Affect turns into a new tonality and a new melody, postirony turns into a drastic language simplifications and interactions with trite things, the sound oscillation turns into the glistening crystal of the new melancholy and new euphoria. Being based on the manifesto of metamodernism, the author constructs her own system of concepts, embedding into this system the music of Valentin Silvestrov and the meme "Д. Добро", Russian philosophy and public group on VKontakte, Vladimir Martynov's concept of «the end of the era of the composers" and the statements of Slava KPSS.
ART CRITICS CIRCLE
Participants of the Circle: Dmitrii Bezouglov, Dmitry Bondarev, Alexey Bocharov, Dasha Veselkina, Natasha Vinokurova, Elena Golub, Stasya Dementyeva, Evgeniy Kutergin, Anna Litovskikh, Anya Marchenkova, Nastya Meister, Inga Miroshnikova, Angela Sileva, Nadya Striga, Anya Ustyakina, Polina Khramtsova, Anya Cherepanova.
In October 2018 in Yekaterinburg we came together through common urge to write and talk about art. After several meetings the group acquired its core members and a name: 'art critics circle'.
Ural contemporary art has a long history, but there isn't a lot of critical texts about it here. Circle's participants saw their main goal in creating a discourse field which would stimulate thoughts and conversations; soon the accent shifted completely towards broadening the forms of togetherness. Today circle's participants are striving to include everyone interested into its activities, such as reading groups, online games, meetings and situations.
Intermediary results of non-public collective writing practices and simultaneous work sessions are embodied in a form of self-published zine. Irony and mutual care became reasons for zine's negative numeration. To begin from 'minus third' is to set a trap for perfectionism and impostor syndrome, to be able to work freely and together escape from great expectations.
The name 'art critics circle' can be confusing: often our activities are loosely related to the text production. We believe that contemporary artistic practices require new optics, as well as broadening of our understanding of critical writing. Among the topics, with which we work, are labour conditions, market, communication issues and comonning. For us, the circle is a constantly evolving community, built on collaborative work, horizontal bonds and gentle reciprocal care.
A MIRACLE OR MISUNDERSTANDING
SOCIALLY ENGAGED PRACTICES IN THE ART PROSPECT NETWORK COUNTRIES
Field Reports from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Foreword: Susan Katz, introduction: Victor Misiano
Authors: Sabina Abbasova (Azerbaijan), Vahram Aghasyan (Armenia), Irina Bharat (Uzbekistan), Data Chigholashvili & Mariam Shergelashvili (Georgia), Anna Chistoserdova (Belarus), Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev (Kyrgyzstan), Eva Khachatryan (Armenia), Jamshed Kholikov (Tajikistan), Yulia Kostereva (Ukraine), Viktor Misiano (Russia/Italy), Yevheniia Oliinyk (Ukraine), Anna Pohribna & Ilona Demchenko (Ukraine), Lali Pertenava (Georgia), Maria Vilkovisky & Ruthie Jenrbekova (Kazakhstan), Olga Veselova (Kazakhstan), Vladimir Us (Moldova)
We invite readers to engage with this publication, to post their impressions, to share their experiences in the region, and to ask questions.
"Socially engaged art in the former Soviet countries is either a miracle or a misunderstanding, for there are too many reasons why it should not exist." (Viсtor Misiano)
This publication grew out of CEC ArtsLink's commitment to support international cultural mobility and new models for creatively addressing socio-political concerns, transforming urban environments, and engaging local communities. It serves to connect the broader international arts community to the post-Soviet region and advocate for the importance of transnational cultural exchange. It addresses the need for greater information about regional creative social practice initiatives through essays and interviews by artists, thinkers, and practitioners from eleven countries.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF STREET ART IN NIZHNY NOVGOROD
ALISA SAVITSKAYA, ARTEM FILATOV
The fourth book in the GARAGE.txt series examines the street art of Nizhny Novgorod, a unique phenomenon in Russian contemporary art.
One of Russia's biggest cities, Nizhny Novgorod is a curious mix of quiet provincial character and the ambitions of a megalopolis. The city, its complex and unusual layout, elaborate structure, and various cultural layers have all informed the phenomenon that the authors of this book have named "Nizhny Novgorod street art". The street art movement formed in the 2010s and unites local artists such as Andrey Druzhaev, Fyodor Makhlayuk, Anton Morokov, Andrey Olenev, Artem Filatov, Yakov Khorev, Vladimir Chernyshev, and TOY group. The book features numerous photographs documenting projects by these artists.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RUSSIAN STREET ART
РЕДКОЛЛЕГИЯ ПОД РУКОВОДСТВОМ ТВОРЧЕСКОГО ОБЪЕДИНЕНИЯ АРТМОССФЕРА
«Энциклопедия российского уличного искусства» — издание, впервые объединившее биографические статьи о российских уличных художниках, авторскую хронологию уличного искусства и глоссарий основных терминов, относящихся к граффити и стрит-арту. Это первое издание о российском уличном искусстве в русскоязычном поле, выпущенное в энциклопедическом формате. Объем книги, иллюстрированной фотографиями, документирующими развитие уличного искусства в России в течении последних 3-х десятилетий — 316 страниц в полноцвете.
Над энциклопедией работала редколлегия под руководствомТворческого объединения АРТМОССФЕРА и продюсеры издания — проектная группа «8 линий». Книга выпущена при поддержке благотворительного фонда «ОМК-Участие», организатора ежегодного фестиваля городской культуры «Арт-Овраг» в Выксе.
Работа над книгой велась в течение двух лет. Основной раздел энциклопедии содержит биографические статьи о 187 российских художниках и командах, работающих в поле уличного искусства или начинавших свой путь с граффити. Сбор информации о художниках производился посредством анкетирования и интервьюирования, а также изучения открытых источников, после чего тексты приводились к формату энциклопедической статьи.
Над текстами основного раздела работала группа авторов: Марта Пакните, Игорь Поносов, Никита Величко, Павло Митенко, Даша Борисенко-Орловски, Наиля Гольман, Дмитрий Аске, Антон Польский (Make). Редакторы раздела биографических справок — Марта Пакните, Игорь Поносов. Руководители редколлегии — со-основательницы объединения АРТМОССФЕРА и одноимённой Биеннале уличного искусства Сабина Чагина и Юлия Василенко.
Авторский взгляд на хронологию российского уличного искусства представил художник и исследователь Дмитрий Аске, объединивший в соответствующем разделе книги ключевые события, повлиявшие на формирование российской сцены уличного искусства, законы ее функционирования, характерные черты и специфическую изобразительность.
В качестве составителя глоссария ключевых терминов, относящихся к граффити и стрит-арту, выступил Институт исследования стрит-арта — его куратор Альбина Мотор и научный сотрудник Мария Удовиченко, при участии Дмитрия Аске. Раздел дает ключ к пониманию текстов книги, также он интересен тем, что демонстрирует как заимствования из английского языка, относящиеся к граффити-терминам, стали видоизменяться в русскоязычном употреблении.
Uncanny Valley is a co-production between an Impresario Feodor Elutine and a German director Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll), who research moral guidelines for human-AI interaction in the new era of technology. A documentary one-robot show; a lecture with interactive elements. Creating a human-like robot that not only executes its operator's commands, but can also replace human presence on stage altogether; shows creative initiative, appears emotive and, most importantly, triggers the audience's empathy.
The show stars an android, the author's mechanical twin created especially for this performance, as its lead. The robot's facial expressions, voice intonations and body language are identical to the human prototype.
The robot makes the audience experience and overcome the "Uncanny Valley" effect, the last obstacle in the way of ultimate cooperation of humans and robots. The phenomena was first discovered by a Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori, who concluded that people experience anxiety, distrust and even fear of a machine with a humanoid appearance. Documentary theatre explores the problem that the world leading manufacturers of industrial and domestic robots are struggling to solve. Theatre creates a territory where overcoming the "Uncanny Valley" effect finally becomes possible.
We are used to seeing robots in metal form. They perform mechanical actions and obey the human instructions. But what if a person sitting in front of you is a robot? What do you feel? Sympathy? Distrust? Fear? Here, an android replaces the author on stage and tries to determine what the original experiences when the copy takes over.
Uncanny Valley is a performance where a robot changes our perspective of ourselves and the world around us by imitating our behaviour.
A production of Münchner Kammerspiele. In Coproduction with Berliner Festspiele - Immersion, donaufestival (Krems), Feodor Elutine (Moscow), FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts (Milano), Temporada Alta - Festival de Tador de Catalunya (Girona), SPRING Utrecht
KAPITOLINA TCVETKOVA-PLOTNIKOVA, ARNAUD GRANDJEAN, GABRIEL JEANJEAN, JEAN-DAVID MERH
Plant opera is an interdisciplinary, science-art project that believes in transflorism (analogy to transhumanism). We want to give plants the opportunity to express themselves. To do this we developed a system of sensors allowing us to translate the real-time data expression from plants into sounds, texts and visuals.
Plant opera exists in two forms — "installation" (is performed by plants, who's temporality is stretched and from human categorisation represents more of the installation even though it is not in terms of genre and execution), second is performance. In the second form human performers (singer, dancer and two performers) lead a fragile dialogue with the plant performers, establishing communication through speech, song and body language, using operatic rules of dramaturgy.
Opera is the most human form of art, and the apotheosis of artificiality, which clashes with the laws of nature, creating juxtaposition. As in life, the opera structure and dramaturgy is made through temporality punctuation around two main themes — love and death. But nature teaches us a different view of our basic definitions. It has a completely different sense of time: one word can last a day, one breath — to the new moon. There is no death, it is just a transformation, generosity, resurrection through decay, and love is infinite.
The project addresses issues of plant consciousness, bioethics and biocentrism, raises the issue of ambivalence of lost in translation phenomenon and subjectivity of interpretation.
THE FABRIC OF LIFE
Artists: Vladlena Gromova, Artem Paramonov Programmer: Alexey Krutikov Engineer: Boris Bazulev 3D printing: Timofey Rybka Geneticist: Aleksandr Zhuravlev, Laboratory of Neurogenetics in Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Does a human feel connection with other species? What place does a human take in evolutionary procedures? How does technology development affect interspecies relationships?
The Fabric of Life is an artistic-scientific investigation of evolutionary and interspecific bonds that are visualised and materialised in real time by an automated knitting machine. A camera captures a face of a viewer, a program processes an image, then the viewer's photo is combined with Drosophila melanogaster's image (chosen from the library) ascending the morphing algorithm. The resulting image turns into a knitting pattern.
The basis for the morphing algorithm is a dotplot (matrix) obtained via analysing and checking the matches between fruit fly and human genes using bioinformatics methods (Homology Segment Analysis, BLAST). A homology research revealed common DNA fragments, i.e. calculated specific sequences of 16 nucleotides, which drawing on the example of two species, drifted apart about 500 million years ago, can be considered as an "atom of evolution». By materialising the links between species, combining processes and technologies related at the code level (knitting, dotplot, electronic devices, programming) we try to turn the fear of interspecific transformation into the "warm" everyday design, built into the game with tradition and culture. However, the processes of knitting and creating a pattern no longer need human hands, they are delegated to machines, algorithms and neural networks that still have the opportunities to make a mistake.
Participants: Olga Belichenko, Elena Bogdanova, Olga Brednikova, Elvira Gizatullina, Olga Gromasheva, Virpi Kaisto, Ekaterina Melnikova, Elena Nikiforova, Lyubov Chernysheva, Irina Shirobokova
Design: North-7 art group (Alexander Tsikarishvili, Liza Tsikarishvili, Piotr Diakov, Nestor Engelke, Vadim Mikhailov, Tatyana Chernomordova, Victor Yuliev)
The research part of the project: 2017-2019, Russia, Finland; Educational part of the project: September-May 2019, Saint-Petersburg; Exhibition: April 19 — May 14, 2019, Kunsthalle nummer Sieben, Saint-Petersburg.
An international art-science project, where sociologists, anthropologists, social geographers become mediators for their research to the public while acting as artists. Scholars simultaneously become the producers of knowledge and its broadcasters through artforms unobvious for the scientific world: graphics, objects, photographs, video, installations, sound installations, and performances.
Elena Bogdanova focuses on the attitude towards authority in an apartment block. Virpi Kaisto offers to the visitors a way to deconstruct stereotypes towards neighbours abroad. Olga Gromasheva challenges us to a karaoke-battle of an opportunity to be in tune with the neighbour. Lyubov Chernysheva materialises the boundary between common and personal interests. Irina Shirobokova executes a dance around the choreography of housework. Elvira Gizatullina extrapolates online aggression to offline trust. Olga Brednikova transports up to the torture chamber of an imaginary vision of a neighbour. Elena Nikiforova looks into the phenomenon of emotional place. Ekaterina Melnikova locates the construction of the guilt complex in the mythology of migrants. Olga Belichenko distinguishes between the façade memory of the space where one belongs and the memory of alienated space.
The artworks are based on the results of the Russian-Finnish scholarly project Layered Cake of Neighbourness and tackles different approaches to research: Neighbourness in border areas, Neighbourness through time, Neighbourness in a metropolis, Digital neighbourness, and Neighbourness in communes.
The idea of the eleven projects for the exhibitions surfaced during the individual work of the researchers with an artist and curator Lera Lerner. Later on, the artworks were developed by the efforts of scholars themselves in the close cooperation with the North-7 art group and Lera Lerner.
::VTOL:: (DMITRY MOROZOV)
The key component of this Installation is a system of three robotic mechanisms interacting with small iron meteorites (fragments and individual specimens). The interaction can be summed up as follows: at the start of the cycle, an automatic manipulator with a small passive magnet, to which the meteorites are magnetised, slides towards a powerful alternating magnetic field created by an induction coil. As a result, the meteorites become red hot within a short period of time (not more than a minute), attaining the approximate temperature of a falling meteorite that has entered the upper atmosphere. After attaining a temperature of approximately 750 degrees Celsius, the meteorites loose their magnetic properties and become uncoupled from the manipulator, ending up in a special container. An infrared camera in the container holding the fallen red-hot meteorite transforms the thermal radiation into a picture. The temperature data are pegged to the height of pitch of a simple sinusoidal generator, which reveals that the cooling of the meteorites leads to a gradual and modulated reduction of the sound pitch of the generator. After reaching ambient temperature, the meteorites are again hooked up to the magnetic manipulator (the meteorites recover their magnetic properties on cooling), and again ascend to the heating coil, launching the cycle anew.
To all intents and purposes, the installation is a cyclical system modelling the time of the "arrival of meteorites" on the earth — a virtually imperceptible and extremely rare situation. The main driver and inspiration for this work was the appearance in my geological collection of several individual fragments of the Sikhote-Alin meteorite, which fell in the Far East in 1947.
About printed edition
Every issue of the printed catalogue is timed with the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award-giving Ceremony.
Printed catalogue fulfils important for Award team educational function: not only to present projects from the long-list, but to trace behind them a history of changing and becoming. Throughout more than a decade long history of the Award there were 10 printed issues of the catalogue — each and every one of them being a cut of emerging contemporary art, eagerly sought both by artist and professional audience.