Curators: Marat Guelman, Elena Olejnikova
The Museum of Contemporary Art PERMM
with the support of Ministry of Culture, Youth Policy and Mass Communication, Perm Region
“Art Against Geography” is exhibited at the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art by “Cultural Alliance”.
There is a common prejudice that rich and intensive cultural life is possible only in the capital. That artists living outside the capital have no possibility for creative growth and they leave for Moscow or go abroad. “Cultural Alliance” is a project to modernise culture and to establish decentralised cultural environment.
In 2011 in the framework of the White Nights in Perm Festival “Cultural Alliance” organised 33 art-projects at 7 venues with participation of over 100 artists. 30,000 people visited the exhibitions during the festival month. Old and young, famous and unknown artists from the participant cities of “Cultural Alliance” share experience in creative work as well as in creative problems. A new art-territory naturally emerges as a result of such joint exhibitions.
“Art Against Geography” exhibits the artworks by the artist that already belong to “Cultural Alliance” and by those considering this possibility. Artists from St. Petersburg, Perm, Ufa, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Tver, Togliatti, Kirov, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Izhevsk reveal horizontal connections inside contemporary Russian culture.
Black rubber toilet bowl by Vladimir Kozin is a romanticisation of the Soviet routine – a theme familiar, yet still inspiring for St. Petersburg artists. Another way to mythologise the Soviet past is a social pin-up poster by Valery Barykin from Nizhny Novgorod. “Tsiolkovsky’s Dream” installation is a tender glance from the past by B&S group from Yekaterinburg while Emvil Kasimov’s “Private Letters” are addressed from the future back into the past to the addressees that left. The art of Perm ranges from experience to innocence. Timofey Dubrovskikh examines his friends as user-pics. Mikhail Pavlukevich and Olga Subbotina’s installation is as beautiful as flowers, to quote Ravil Ismagilov, the Chairman of Perm Union of Artists. On the contrary, the installation by Inga and Aleksey Aksyenovs from Tver is far from the sublime, being permeated by physiological aggression and terrifying muteness. “Worshipping Your Rivers”, the underground’s veins, is a perfect in structure artwork by Maksim Kholodilin from Ufa.
To form the conception about the “non-Moscow” art is the same as to travel away from the tourist routes of Russia – frightening and fascinating.
- Yekaterina Florenskaya, Saint Petersburg
- Vladimer Kozin, Saint Petersburg
- Bureau ArtTerra and Valery Podlyasskii, St. Petersburg
- Mikhail Pavlukevich and Olga Subbotina, Perm
- Vyacheslav Smirnov, Perm
- Timofey Dubrovskikh Perm
- Timofey Dorofeyev, Ufa
- Maxim Holodilin, Ufa
- Rinat Voligamsi, Ufa
- Rinat Minnebaev, Ufa
- Yevgenia Mikheeva and Tatyana Komova, Yekaterinburg
- Darya Zakharova, Yekaterinburg
- Tatyana Guselnikova, Yelena Iotova, Yekaterinburg
- B&C Group, Yekaterinburg
- CHNZH Group, Samara
- Alisa Kot Nikolaeva, Samara
- Konstantin Fedorov, Tver
- Inga and Aleksei Aksenov, Tver
- Oleg Azarenkov, Tver
- Mikhail Lezin, Tolyatti
- Evgenie Sesjukov, Kirov
- Sergey Kulikov, Kazan
- Valery Barykin, Nizhnii Nivgorod
- Envil Kasimov, Izhevsk
- Pavel Aksenov, Izhevsk
- Ivan Gorshkov, Voronezh
- Evgeniy Antufev, Moscow
- Valentin Tkach, Moscow
Opening: September 13, 2011 at 19.00
Press conference September 13, 2011 at 18.00
Special opening: September 24, 2011 at 19.00
Art vs. Geography
This exhibition has been conceived to overcome great Russian distances and to discover a whole layer of Russian artists who already do not fit the category of young ones, but are still unknown to the Moscow, let along international, public. On a larger scale we are trying to resolve this situation through the Cultural Alliance established in Perm in order to reassemble the cultural geography of the country.
The Art vs. Geography exhibition, apart from purely artistic goals, aims to demonstrate a new situation in the Russian art where regions start to interact with the artistic community and to use the latter in order to overcome the depression of the territory on their own, without any ministries of culture, state museums and other official institutions.
Traditionally, we discuss the relations between business, art and state. And within this triangle all the discussions about the life of art take place. Undoubtedly, in Germany or in the US there is a similar situation with a capital in the lead, but at the same time there are exciting local artistic situations. That is why it is very important to draw attention to the creative career of the artists living outside Moscow and, simultaneously, to build the relations between cultural scenes for them to enrich each other. This exhibition shows that now we have one more partner, one more actor in this game - a territory - that wants the artists not to leave for the capital or, the other way round, it wants the artists to become interested, to come and realize their projects in this territory, which is already interacting with art in one way or another. And there is hope that within the framework of this exhibition a serious conversation about a new role of art will take place, a conversation that may influence the life of an artist.
Art vs. Geography is not a study in art criticism or art history, but rather a cultural cross-section. 10 years ago in partnership with the Russian Museum there was realized a project with the same name but with the opposite idea. It was devoted to the fact that contemporary art that is shown only in Moscow drastically loses its audience in Russia. The situation we have today is completely the opposite: it is now the Cultural Alliance that brings artists who live in various regions to Moscow. For a long time it has been a common belief that regardless of where the artist lives, if she/he is talented, she/he will make his/her way to Moscow, to Moscow galleries and museums. The fact that most well-known artists of the Moscow scene come from the regions speaks in support of this theory. However, many equally exciting artists appreciate the local situation that they seek to develop through their art.
Nine towns brought their artistic projects to Perm in June 2011 within the framework of the White Nights in Perm festival. It became clear that in these towns there are interesting artistic communities and that the artists do not feel fully cut off from the Moscow and even international artistic scene, that they speak the same language of contemporary art, overcoming geography and biography.
Head of the Museum of Contemporary Art PERMM, Perm