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Illusion: from fair attraction towards media installation

 
Illusion: from fair attraction towards media installation

event site and dates

Nizhny Novgorod, Arsenal
30 august 2011 — 23 october 2011

Organizers: Volga region Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts, State Polytechnic Museum supported by Polytechnic Museum Development Foundation, Volga Cultural Capital Fund, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation,

Curators: Evgeniy Strelkov (Nizhny Novgorod), Andrey Suzdalev (Moscow) 

Artists:

  • Vladislav Efimov
  • Where Dogs Run art group
  • Igor Makarevich
  • Nikolay Selivanov
  • Evgeniy Strelkov
  • Andrey Suzdalev
  • Leonid Tishkov

The project is dedicated to analyzing the role of visual technical media prototypes (camera obscura and magic lantern, zoetrope and stereopair, photo camera and slide projector, animation and mechanical television) in shaping the contemporary visuality; for that purpose museum exhibits from Polytechnic Museum and media works of contemporary artists are combined in one exposition. Brought into being as attractions, in time media significantly expanded possibilities of human perception, having created new communication spaces and new languages.

Comparison of museum rarities and media-themed pieces of contemporary art let a viewer to perceive the essence of contemporary visual communication, as well as what place in it belongs to principles and methods which were used in construction of the first devices for images fixation, storage and reproduction.

Moreover, reference to photo and cinema attractions in the works of contemporary artists is not a coincidence. And the matter is not merely in still persistent attraction purpose of the media. It is also the fact that today’s authors try to follow the Charles Jencks' concept of “double coding”, according to which post-modern art should appeal to the elite and an ordinary person in equal measure.

And it is exactly this aim to amuse and entertain which brings together contemporary artworks and hundred-years-old fair and pavilion attractions. Of course the artists reckon that such visual expression does not impair the depth of their works, many of which possess a lot of cultural references.

At the same time the artists believe that they can get more attention from a contemporary museum visitor by introducing elements of a technological miracle and gambling, a circus trick and an intellectual journey since this visitor is not merely a viewer of Debord’s “society of the spectacle”, but also a frequenter of the grand “mass consumption” fair.

For creation of their works each of the artists will make a choice among themes which are directly connected with certain objects from the museum collection: stereo effect, “live images”, transmission of moving images at distance, the camera obsura effect…

In exposition space the artists’ installations will be placed alongside museum devices. Combined into media pairs, they will create unified emotional-rational space which will arouse interest of the public both to contents of artistic messages and to the aura of genuine rarities from the history of technology.





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