Curator: Andrey Parshikov
Organizer: Gallery Victoria
- Keti Chukhrov
- Sergey Bratkov
- FFC (Factory of Found Clothes)
- Veronika Georgieva & Stephen Shanabrook
- Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubossarsky
- Yakov Kazhdan
- Irina Korina
- Taus Makhacheva
- Boris Mikhailov
- Eléonore de Montesquiou
- Nikolay Oleynikov
- Alexandra Paperno
- Ksenia Peretrukhina
- Mladen Stilinović
- Olga Chernysheva
- Dmitry Vlasik
The situation that has come about currently in contemporary art is totally repressive due to the exhibition format with resulting consequences visible in museum, gallery, and exposition projects. The art community is looking for alternative forms of re-presentation in order to break free from outdated frameworks. Large projects are facing a crisis, and this has been talked up and down in discussions about mega shows, not least those, such as biennale and other grand art forums, which are coming round to the idea that the very principle of 'exhibiting' no longer meets contemporary challenges in the culture community. Thus, the search for a way out is reaching a critical point.
The Afghan-Kuzminki project is based on the subject and text of a dramatic poem by K. Chukhrov and is an attempt to merge the exhibition format with a linear, dramatically organised timeframe coupled with dynamic action. During logical pauses, with musical accompaniment to the play/performance on stage, there is a display of contemporary visual art selected by the curator, organisation directors and participants. This is a work of synthesis whereby artists, composers, directors, performers and theoreticians co-operate. By creating a production that converges with theatre, music and contemporary art, the producers are bringing to fruition the possibilities of alternative means of expression for contemporary critical visual culture. The premise is that the traditional exhibition format by its very construct appeals to the viewers’ intellect, while the theatre format is taken on more as a sensuous experience. It is particularly this space between the branches of contemporary culture that creates a need for the high-brow and at the same time hard social, agenda-charged narrative created by the musical performance of K. Chukhrov's dramatic poem. Here a further plane is added: the necessity of "delivering" art objects to the stage. Everything taking place on the stage becomes, as it were, an act that is part of the production.
Naturally, Afghan-Kuzminki is an unpredictable experiment. The placing of artistic objects in a dramatic structure simultaneously includes them in theatre as, in the words of E. Grotovski, "the art of performance". One may say that viewers themselves by their very presence in the hall lend the art production displays a certain content in a definite chain, and it is vitally important here that the arrangement of visual displays meaningfully combines with the dramatic performance of K. Chukhrov. This project could have been called contemporary oratoria with its synthetic genre conjoined with social, musical and visual dimensions. It is horizontal in relation to the viewer and, as opposed to the exhibition format, it beneficially reduces the distance between the transmitted experience and subject. Afghan-Kuzminki is a project directed at viewers, thereby giving them the opportunity to sense and feel that they are part of an artistic act. One might say that the project aims for viewers' personal self-discovery through art space.
From the point of view of a contemporary theatre conscious of itself as “post-dramatic” and taking steps in various directions from traditional drama theatre, the Afghan-Kuzminki project is an equally important experiment. Theatre is now in dire need of a re-think within itself of what constitutes contemporary art. For theatre, the transport of contemporary art onto the stage area is not unlike a new lease of life for visual culture which is practically absent there. Viewers are ready for the depth and topicality of the language spoken in contemporary art, but which has yet to be integrated into theatre. On the other hand, contemporary art is also going through another stage of dehumanization. So, Afghan-Kuzminki aims at being an actually necessary experiment not only in a key of formality, but in a research key as well.
Andrey Parshikov, Ksenia Peretrukhin.
Gallery Victoria was founded in Samara in 2005 by Leonid Michelson, Chairman of the Board of OAO Novatek. From its start the gallery accomplished collaborative projects with such institutions as The State Russian Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Auction house Christie's, Museum “Moscow House of Photography”, Alliance Francaise in Samara and “Victoria - the Art of being Contemporary” Foundation.
Keti Chukhrov, poet and composer of the Oratorio
Lyudmila Patrati, director of “Victoria” Gallery
Mikhail Ugarov, head of the Theatre.Doc