NEMOSKVA IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
SAINT PETERSBURG
NEMOSKVA IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
SAINT PETERSBURG
8 August — 15 October 2020
Saint Petersburg
Manege Central Exhibition Hall,
1 Isaakiyevskaya Ploshchad
Admission by ticket only:
Kassir.ru
For the past thirty years, many regions of the Russian Federation, each at its own pace, have witnessed the coming of age and affirmation of contemporary art practices — in some cases, even the birth. Self-identification, self-education and self-organization, break with tradition and the study of local nonconforming practices of the past, as well as integration into the international discourse are the trajectories along which the people developing contemporary art have moved. Today the dichotomy center/periphery is felt as an anachronism. We have stopped to look at one single center as the pulsing heart of everything. Each artist is a center no matter where he/she lives.
This what More than Moscow is all about.

Both burdened and enlightened by history, artists have reached a phase in which sense and sensibility, analysis and instinct are equally present. Clearly, they express this in different ways in their works. Some feel tiredness, slowness and temporary inactivity. However, through art they manage to escape this state of lethargy (Evgeny Kutergin). Some choose mimicry as the most effective strategy to get inside the system instead of adapting to it by placing a certain attention to the everyday and to the possibility of changing the conventional optics (Svetlana Usoltseva). Others prefer to distance themselves from social commitment and cut out their own island in the shape of an amusement park, popping out from an agitated dream (Vladimir Seleznev).


Unquestionably, irony is still one of the most powerful weapons an artist can wield. Where there is irony, there is philosophy. This is Russia, after all — a huge material resource that can be pictured as a swamp and as the transitory zone of an entryway of a building (German Preobrazhensky). In between the spatial and the temporal of today there is room for un­repressed deconstruction of the present (Artem Filatov) and for disenchanted reflections about a territory that keeps changing regardless of its being anchored to the past (Antonio Geusa). The lesson has been learnt: the vastness of the territory of the Russian Federation and its different histories and stories have made us learn that time is the product of place (Oksana Budulak).

Our exhibition opens in times of a new beginning, times that we have yet to fully understand. We can already state that we have faced isolation and separation, as well as we have gotten used to new forms of communication: the faraway has become closer all of a sudden, thanks to the technology of remote meetings. We came out of quarantine into an empty present: familiar spaces were uninhabited and the content of our daily life was surrounded by void. Artists are those who are able to capture the present, react to it and predict the new before anyone else. They see and capture the emotion before it reaches the slow wheel of reflection. Our exhibition displays the results of their meditations on the present and the near future.

Oksana Budulak
The Mole Hill Theory
Even before the global quarantine the project was put together based on the key intention — isolation, the clinical nemoskva condition. Having left out the insufferable contexts of colonisation and metro-discourse orientations — issues of deficit and exoticisation, postenvironmentalism, or the Putin's regime, I looked for the pure state of local art that is lived by artists in the here and now. Projects of the six authors presented at the exhibition have been created in the conditions of eternal isolation — sometimes imposed, sometimes sought for, sometimes organic, and sometimes specially modulated. The exhibition answers the ironic question "How's your whatever?" where the "whatever" turns into an alternative source of energy.

The artists I picked are not representative. By no means they define local art in Siberia, but at the same time you cannot say that they are on the fringe. In provinces there are no opportunities so common in a centre — international recognition, massive success, ratings, getting into collections; also there is no division into the official and the non-official. The time in Nemoskva depends on the location, to be more exact — on its remoteness. Here they do not talk about the last Venice Biennale; the Hermitage will not set up a branch here.


The farther away from the capital, the more autonomous and isolated is the area that takes upon itself the task of defining the centre and the periphery. Krasnoyarsk, situated in the middle of the country, is in a centre — kind of — but this is the centre of a void where time and space bend describing their own trajectories, and where isolation is an inexhaustible resource for some and a catastrophe for others.

Oleg Ponomaryov, with his countryside hospitality, invites us to the flying saucer full of emptiness, muttering the incantation "Sandra, come out, take a bite of the spice cake." Igor Lazarev in his philosophi­cal treatise the Freedom to Be an Artist attempts to capture the fluid duty of a creator; his seven testaments formulate some serious maxims which at the same time can fall apart making you laugh like the moral at the end of a Yeralash episode. Sanya Zakirov works on the issue of copyright, restoring justice with irony — rubbing Shishkin out of the history of art in a fantasy novel. Life, broken like electronic gadgets, in the city of Khorsov in D3mark0's conspirology, Elena Anosova's female convicts — women, removed from society, the psychedelic being of a soldier by Syomych S, B, — all these are alternative realities pulsing right here and now. A little sad, fantastic, absurd, sometimes all too real, but all of them are moles' holes cum hills, behind which there is its own horizon of events, paradoxes and discourses.
Artists
Igor Lazarev
Sanya Zakirov
Syomych S,B,
Oleg Ponomaryov
Elena Anosova
D3mark0
Igor Lazarev
Born in 1986 Krasnoyarsk
Lives and works in Krasnoyarsk
The Freedom to Be an Artist (2020)
Installation


The author has identified and eternalised the timeless questions young artists are passionate about. The installation presents the testaments written on seven large concrete slabs — tablets. Each has rules and points related to art and being an artist, formulations of basic ideas haunting a young author. They can present with different manifestations — constraining, pressuring, giving no peace, liberating, inspiring, and plenty more. An artist, however, has an obligation to reflect on this, as making peace with these ideas he/she is set free.
Sanya Zakirov
Born in 1989 in Barnaul
Lives and works in Krasnoyarsk
Operation "Bears" (2020)
Installation


This project has two parts — painting on canvas (on stretcher) and a short fiction story. The painting is a "copy" of Shishkin's painting Morning in a Pine Forest, with everything taken except for the bears (which, in reality, were not painted by Shishkin himself, but by his friend Kostya Savitsky). The story tells us about a journey to the past that allegedly resulted in the famous picture taking this appearance.

The artist emphasises the theme of collaboration and copyright. As is well known, Savitsky's signature was effaced by Tretyakov after he bought the painting despite the bears being key to the picture. And the story about time travel with utmost unrealistic laws made it possible for Zakirov to accomplish a symbolic vendetta having erased from the painting everything created by Shishkin and returned Savitsky's signature back to its rightful place.
Syomych S,B,
Born in 1994 in Krasnoyarsk
Lives and works in Krasnoyarsk
Humility School (2019-2020)
Installation


This installation is four army beds made in accordance to regulations and 12 black and white graphic pieces in black pencil in an A5 format album (this is the format size that fits in a night stand and under a pillow). These drawings were made when the author was in the army, doing national service, in hiding and surrounded by military secrecy. These routine sketches whisper a tale about the "new comfort zone" as the most important military secret — about what "nothing" is and how it occurs, by what laws and with what characters. It is about the weird peculiarities of this experience, about soldiers' feelings that the artist reflects in the spirit of magic realism, childishly naïve at times, romantic, mystical, and enigmatic. Much like the Bruegel's hero fallen out of the general occurrence and looking into a parallel reality, the artist sends a diary from a secret tepee that exists in the here and now, at every location of this unfathomable Nemoskva.

The artist is currently doing national service.
Oleg Ponomaryov
1965 – 2019
The Absence of Sandra (2011)
Videoinstallation


The Absence of Sandra is a conceptual video poem about absence as mystic freedom stitched together from useless autonomous artistic constructs. The author's text/muttering became the uniting fabric and energy for ready-mades — the images of the object, the chronometry of the main story and the title. The object reminiscent of a spaceship with empty windows was created for a totally different context (it was made to order and not accepted by the client). The timeframe was picked by the author by accident from another piece 3 minutes and 33 seconds. The title "The Absence of Sandra" is not entwined directly into the fabric of the piece and exists in the position of an outside observer who sees all.

The qualities of provincial areas — remoteness, shortage of events and knowledge, naïveté and ignorance, frozen time, lack of the art scene — are transformed by the artist into the void that is beyond expression. Ponomaryov's conceptual art — at a first glance emasculated and somewhat formal — always strives to be filled with live emotions and viewers' interpretations, and in this sense is utmost interactive and humane.
Elena Anosova
Born in 1983 in Electrostal, Moscow region
Lives and works in Irkutsk and Moscow
Section (2014)
Photography, video, book


Section is a project about women, about social and emotional interactions in confined communities. The author has spent a number of months visually studying female correctional facilities in Siberia. She shows ordinary women convic­ted for whatever reason mentioning neither names nor their crimes. It is not hard to imagine that next to a portrait of a vicious murderer you find a portrait of a victim of domestic violence whose wrong-doing was self-defence. In these shots next to each other there are the soulless eyes of a drug trafficker and a gaze of a girl whose crime is just as ludicrous and societally predetermined as in the middle of last century when you could get a prison sentence for an abortion or being romantically involved with a foreigner.

In a confined space of a prison a woman is always in the position of being observed and the long years of the status of "nakedness" and lacking personal space deforms the individual's identity. Elena Anosova builds a sequence of gazes, faces, and gestures altered by being continually watched by the prison administration and ubiquitous cellmates, all the personal and intimate laid out for the community judgement.

____________

Section / Faces (2014)
Installation


In this Section / Faces part of project the author presents institutional portraits stitched to the convicts' clothing to serve as IDs. The prison administration performs this on day of arrival at the correctional facility. These images do not get replaced for many years like an intimate time capsule laid out for all to see. Lacking the ID card on a convict's chest results in punitive actions. These activities are regulated at a macro-social level by a total control underpinned by laws, decrees and directives continually updated by the administration; at a micro-social level — via an intricate system of unwritten rules and unarticulated protocols. In both cases there is a broad range of tools varying in their degree of cruelty — from solitary confinement and reduced chances of being released on parole to physical and emotional violence. With the passage of time the portraits deteriorate, fade, get scarred and deformed. Documenting these distortions has become a metaphor for impacts occurring in an institution of confinement.
D3mark0
Born in 1996 in Krasnoyarsk
Lives and works in Krasnoyarsk
Khorsov (2020)
Installation

The author loves conspiracy theories asserting that they have something palpitating, tickling from the inside, particularly if you want to be deceived.

Khorsov is a self-deception facility that is furnished with everything you need for this — from a convoluted story with fabricated facts, to a precisely framed and beautifully presented expert opinion and the evident involvement of mass media in all of this.

62.376111, 102.428571.
Khorsov
Taimyr Autonomous District
Krasnoyarsk region
Siberia
Russia

On January 24, 2016, an accidental electromagnetic pulse with the power of ~ took out the electric mains. Radio links, landline telephone lines, and cell phone communication systems failed.

Around 90% of personal electric-powered devices were beyond repair.

For 24 hours Khorsov was completely cut off from the outside world.


Antonia Geusa
Between the Word and the White Cube
Logocentrism and the struggle to get access to the public space are defining characters of Russian contemporary art. At least up to the fall of the Soviet Union. As a matter of fact, decades later, the body of Russian contemporary art still lies between the word and the white cube. In the vast territory of the Russian Federation, there are areas in which nothing seems to happen and others very active, where feelings are amplified to the level of goose bumps. Today art grows according to rules that are more personal than objective. In many regions, the ground on which art springs can be pictured as a swamp with all its mystery and mystics. Unquestionably, this territory is a place of strength like Lake Baikal, another perfect meta­phor for it.

On the background of a strong tradition that fears to evolve, artists may find inspiration in it and their own way to move forward. For some, what is not given, it is then independently made or even taken, as a virus does. However, it is not time for a revolution. If a rebel, the artist, is still playing the role of the wise jester, to whom the irrational, like rain raising up to the sky, is the clearest mirror of time.
Probably a Soviet reminiscence, the artist is also the refined poet working in the factory and what he/she makes is poetry living on the industrial product.

Artists have stopped to call their art New. This is not time for mani­festoes. However, it is in the already-written, already-said and already-painted that the new can grow. Artists do not surrender to the past. They keep making their own exercises between the word and the white cube. Speed of communication today is extremely high, and interaction is often quite fragmentary. Being visible and being noticed mean constant struggle. Nonetheless, art is still the best way to understand the present.

Let's worry about the present for the time being and leave the future for later.
Artists
Mayana Nasybullova
Kerim Ragimov, Peter Shvetsov
Alex Etewud
Anton Klimov
Anton Mukhametchin
Art group Gentle Women
Anton Gudkov
Natalia Egorova
Dmitry Korotaev
Peter Shvetsov
Valery Kazas
Mayana Nasybullova
Born in Serov in 1989
Lives and works in Moscow and Novosibirsk
Once Again Nothing Happens (2020)
Installation


As far as historical memory is concerned, slogans on banners were effective ideological instruments of one-way communication with the masses. Today, they have become the supporters of poetic images of despondency and alienation from the abstract big world in which Once Again Nothing Happens, a world that belongs to art, descendant of Erik Bulatov and Yuri Albert. Here, the clouds seem to be frozen in time and rain defies the laws of physics and raises up instead of falling down. Wrapped in her childhood dream to walk on clouds, the artist cares to clarify: "Rain in this sense and not rain at all, but a celebration of escapism and impotence born in perception."
Kerim Ragimov, Peter Shvetsov
Sacrifice (2020)
Installation

Alex Etewud
Born in 1991 in Perm
Lives and works in Perm
To Be in Touch, 2014
Single-channel video


Today, face-to-face communication is becoming more and more mixed up with virtual communication. By keeping in touch, the interlocutor makes himself/herself known, declares his/her presence. His/her "visibility" exists only when he/she is reminded of himself/herself. When silent a person disappears.

In this work, its characters appear only when the message is received or when it is sent, that is, when there is a reason and need to appear. Nowadays the process of refusal of indexicality is obvious in communication (the real interlocutor is replaced by his/her avatar in Facebook, etc.). Art should change accordingly.
Anton Klimov
Born in 1985 in the village of Briakan, Khabarovsk Territory
Lives and works in Irkutsk
Deep Water (2015)
Installation

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest natural reservoir of fresh water. Many travelers, who once found themselves near it, talk about a special self-sufficiency that they sensed here. They felt a strong force that kept them anchored to this place for years and perceive the world in a magical way.

I take pictures of the life around the lake and the people who live this life, succumbing to the soothing veil of loneliness in which they are shrouded in. I try to understand this extraordinary Baikal identity. In the past few years, I have been purposefully exploring the way the various groups of people living here communicate with the Lake Baikal, how they actively maintain the extraordinary identity and the mythology of this space, a "place of strength", as it is often called. I study the systems of living that local residents, nearby tourists (Irkutsk) and tourists from other cities and countries keep developing. I also analyze the conflict between the environment and the local economy. All the industries that were sources of income for local residents were closed down. However, tourism, which seems to be quite popular, is not being quickly deve­loped here.
Anton Mukhametchin
Born in 1976 in Omsk
Lives and works in Novosibirsk
From the "Art Virus" series (2020)
Video installation


A virus is an agent that can infiltrate other organisms and use them for its own purposes. The art virus sets up connections between art works from different periods and creates a new visual language. The Virus project drives you beyond the boundaries of perception of reality. Here, historical times, works of art, styles and techniques belonging to the visual arts are fused together. This is an experiment of human interaction with a visible, but at the same time nonexistent, space. I enter someone else's work like a virus and I change it to suit myself and my own inte­rests. The work I enter ceases to be an independent object. It just serves as background to my ideas. However, the work does not disappear. Its meaning (context) changes though. The model of human society, the essence of its existence, is played out. Man can occupy any territory, but he is unable to adapt to the environment (to find balance with nature, as all animals do). He begins to multiply like a virus destroying everything that touches.
Art group Gentle Women
Founded in 2008
Alexandra Artamonova and Evgeniya Lapteva
Live and work in Kaliningrad
Arteria carotis interna. Carotid artery (2020)
Two-channel video performance


Starting point behind the video Arteria carotis interna (Carotid artery) was one of the episodes of the Nemoskva Trans-Siberian expedition: in Buryatia, in the ethnographic Museum of the peoples of Transbaikalia, we saw the descendants of Semey old believers — those old believers who were exiled by the government of the Russian Empire to Transbaikalia in the XVIII century when the Commonwealth was divided. One of the distinguishing features of the female costume of the semazen — beads, made of large pieces of amber. The video was shot two years later, in a Lithuanian village between the Bay and the sea, during the "dead season". In winter and autumn, the village is empty: there are mostly fishermen and those residents who keep workshops and small businesses. Young people come here when on holiday. Many have moved to live, work and study in other countries. Migration was a conscious choice and the removal from the place of residence was not provoked by persecution. The line of big and rough amber beads in Gentle Women' work is a symbol of their native land — a land that crushes and smothers you, does not make you breathe and gets you attention; strong and difficult to break.
Anton Gudkov
Born in 1987 in Omsk
Lives and works in Moscow and Omsk
Exercises in a White Room (2018-2020)
Installation


The white room is itself a theoretical experiment, which Anton Gudkov turns into practice. Large abstract paintings make us wander endlessly in a closed space, which turns into irregular galleries because of the unsyste­matic to and from movement around the room. Gudkov seems to try to restore order in the white room, putting everything in its place, distributing it into boxes. But where does such mess come from, and what are the verifiable results of this experiment?

From the point of view of representative cleanliness, a white room, a white cube, a white sheet of paper, are the origin of the most polluted spaces, through which it is visible the already written, painted, and stained. Hence all these smudges, crosses, scribbles that appear here and there in Gudkov's drawings. They are both traces that are seen through the image of what is forever inscribed on, grown in, familiar to the white walls, and an attempt to blot out/smear these traces.

Fear of the white sheet of paper is not fear of the absolute beginning. On the contrary, it is fear that everything has already been written or painted before you. (Vadim Savelev)
Natalia Egorova
Born in 1985 in Petrozavodsk
Lives and works in Petrozavodsk
Body Under Question (2013)
Installation


The skin is a phase of infinite ramifications inside and outside of the inner and outer. It is a metaphor for the line that divides the world into "yours" and "someone else's." It is also a metaphor for the surface, the volume of the receptor field that ensures the interaction of the body within the environment.

It is not immediately clear that what we see it is just goosebumps. In this relic reaction of the skin surface we can find the memory of the infusoria, and desire, and fear, and a quote from the Magic Mountain. The focus of meaning changes between scientific research and an untold story connecting the experience of the perceiving subject. (Georgy Nikich)
Dmitry Korotaev
Born 1987 in Khokhryaki
Lives and works in Izhevsk
The Factory Notepad (2013-2020)
Installation

For 3 years, the artist, working in a factory, filled the blank pages of a notebook with notes and drawings.

On the left side, he jotted notes with a ballpoint pen — his impressions and reflections about the factory, its workers, about their relationship, about work. On the right side, there are drawings that are not related to the factory in any way. All of them are made after photos taken from the Internet. These could be photos of famous photographers, or selfies of friends posted on social networks.

For the artist it is important that these two lines, notes and drawings, run parallel through the entire notebook, just like in a one's life in which work (public space) and personal life (personal space) are separated. However, the author at times so sincerely and intimately describes his thoughts, expe­rien­ces, and discoveries related to working at the factory that this part of the Factory Notebook is much more personal. At the same time, the drawings made from photographs belong to a public space, the Internet.

Thus, the initially unconnected two lines of the notebook are strongly intertwined, creating contradiction as well as unity.
Peter Shvetsov
Born in 1970 in Leningrad
Lives and works in St Petersburg
The Swamp, 2009
Paintings (mixed technique on canvas)


The initial impulse for this series lays in V. N. Sukachev's popular scientific book Swamps, Their Formation, Development and Properties, published in Leningrad in 1926. It describes the causes and forms of deformation of acidic swampy soil; classifies swamps by type and typology; and discusses their flora and fauna.

In the Swamp series, painting comes to the foreground. The canvas becomes complex. Meaning is generated and regulated almost exclusively by the behavior of the body of the painting material elements. The swamp forced Pyotr Shvetsov to look for means of expression only in the materials used for painting in order to find chemical analogues to swamp acids among paint cans and tubes.

The swamp is a Leningrad theme. The intellectual history of this city on a swamp is made of three hundred years of looking into the murky depths of flickering meanings. Urban mythology is populated by the grumbling of invisible ghouls, "creatures" and stubborn swamp monsters. After all, as you know, if there is no swamp without devils. (Dimitri Ozerkov)
Valery Kazas
Born in 1964 in Krasnodar
Lives and works in Krasnodar
1:100 (2020)
Objects


One of the most striking charac­teristics of the way contemporary art develops in Russia is its shortage of places exclusively devoted to contemporary art. This project makes up for it by presenting several 1:100 architectural models of museums and sculpture parks intended to be opened in various major cities in Russia.

To further highlight the chronic absence of interest in opening institutional contemporary art spaces, the artist builds not only the "container", but he also make all the works of art forming the "content" focusing mostly on sculptures and installations by Russian authors.

It is important to note that each city has its own museum or park hosting a collection with its own specific identity. In doing so, Russia, the largest country in the world, becomes one of the greatest collectors of contemporary art in the world.

Evgeny Kutergin
Lethargy
This project is built around an image of lethargy — a borderline crisis state characterised by fatigue, immobility, slowdown of all the vital processes.

Pieces by artists from St Petersburg, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Moscow, and Prague demonstrate the diversity of forms of contemporary art (from painting and sculpture to multimedia installations). Together they create a space for the emotional experience of lethargy, representing various aspects of this state — from individual feelings of stagnation, anxiety and isolation from the outside world to a broader contemplation of images of memory, the ostensible death and a sleeping city.
The lethargic state is experienced in the sphere of arts in a number of Russian cities. In some regions the lethargy is caused by socio-economic depression or the lack of institutional infrastructure.
The processes of centralisation and accumulation of most of the resources in one location leads to the impoverishment and fading of the creative life elsewhere. However, fatigue and slowdown also become the response to sudden acceleration of artistic processes in rapidly developing centres.

In a progress-oriented society, usually, any kind of inactivity is judged negatively and destructively. It is possible, however, that inactivity may be necessary for the preservation and accumulation of energy. Lethargy is temporary in its essence, even if — at some point — it appears different. Once the crisis is over and the impact of negative external factors recedes, a new awakening happens.

The energy for the awakening is not far away, we already begin finding it within ourselves.
Artists
Ivan Smirnov
Evgeniya Tarasova
Varvara Kuzmina
Olga Rostrosta
Art group GOOIJ
Elena Slobtseva
Art group ⍩⍥
Andrey Sikorsky
Dmitry Zheravov
Yanina Boldyreva
Kerim Ragimov
Alexander Agafonov
Svetlana Spirina
Alexander Morozov
Ivan Smirnov
Born in 1993 in St Petersburg
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Post, from the series Holiday (2020)
Installation


This piece is devoted to the force of the natural totalitarianism that underpins the entire material world. The regimented transition of some states into others, passage of time, change of calendar cycles, inevitability of death — the eternal unyielding laws in compliance with which a person must live in the physical world. The nature is an ideal harmonious system, absolutely static in its essence. This harmony is preconditioned by the "slumbering mind" of its separate parts, separate cogs in the mechanism incapable of self-perception and thus unable to reflect on their own role in the common process.

Humans, the only creatures known to possess the "awakened mind" have no possibility to dissolve naturally in this system's harmony while suffering no torment of recognising own powerlessness before its laws. Humans escape the oppression of nature making in its image their own systems — poli­tical, economic, and social — and find themselves alone with nature only at the most critical points, like death.

Evgeniya Tarasova
Born in 1982 in Leningrad
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Lethargy (2020)
Painting


A lot of what was valuable a long time ago has been destroyed, submerged in a dream, covered in dust, blanketed with mist. No longer can we with ease assemble the reality from these remnants. We would need to recreate the culture, contrive written language, record history, look for anchorage. If we find the strength to wake up.

The act of writing is available to everyone. This is an easy and joyous process of invention and game, the abstract involvement in the existence. The involvement that is mental, emotional, and physical. Writing is leaving us today becoming useless and romanticised routine. We are asleep. The act of writing for us is a chance of awakening.

Varvara Kuzmina
Born in 1982 in Vladimir
Lives and works in Moscow and Vladimir
Event Horizon (2020)
Single-channel video


Inhale-exhale. I concentrate my attention on breathing not trying to speed it up or slow it down. I breathe calmly, smoothly, and naturally, doing it like I do it always.

I watch myself inhale feeling the air moving within me, how it flows through the respiratory tract, then getting into the lungs. I feel my body inhaling, the chest opens up, the lungs fill up with air. I feel my back, shoulders, arms, legs, knees, feet.

When exhaling I feel the lungs contracting, the air leaving them, moving through the respiratory tract, exiting out of the nose. I myself became breathing, air, clouds, snow, rain.

I am almost motionless, it is only my gaze that is moving to the line of the horizon and beyond. Day after day I stare into my window, the sky gets nearer, then farther away, just like the water edge with the tide — in and out. Sometimes everything seems crystal clear, other times nothing is discernable, while I just observe the occurrences and I breathe.
Olga Rostrosta
Born in 1964 in Potsdam
Lives and works in St Petersburg
High relief "N. V. Gogol" (2015)
Sculpture crocheting


Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol is the most mystical and mysterious figure of the Russian culture, the embodied image of the blurring of the line between the earthly and the eternally unknown. The imaginary death, the mysterious Lethargia have been firmly linked with him in people's minds for over one and a half centuries. Gogol is indivisible from the wondrous Petersburg that has attained the title of the Sleeping Beauty and competes against her with the vacillation and phantasmagoria of fate.

It is not by accident that the object is crocheted out of bed linen. Nor is accidental the foundation to which the haut relief is attached. It is a bee-keepers mat, a little mattress with which they cover hives. Maybe Gogol in his imagination covered the buzzing of the endless successions of characters and specimens of Russian life.

Do you hear this buzzing?
Art group GOOIJ
Established in 2018
Maria Plaksina and Yegor Yefremov
They live and work in Yekaterinburg
Jonahisation (2020)
Multimedia installation


Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 2:1)
Elena Slobtseva
Born in 1981 in Perm
Lives and works in Perm
Chrysalis (2017, 2020)
Installation


uneasy is the ceiling stains' tongue,
quiet and indistinct, quiet and indistinct.
for a third day on a bed I lay.
uneasy is the ceiling stains' tongue.

for a third day on a table you lay.
shadows walk on the ground.

snow falls, earth decays,
shadows begin to dance.
I can't survive without caress, without the dove's caress.
a body lays without a tongue, a body lays without eyes.

there is no way I could sleep,
and I can't raise from the sleep as someone
and there's no one to see
how you raise your eyelids.

(anonymous author)
Art group ⍩⍥
Established in 2021
They live and work in Yekaterinburg
ПOZYCJE ЗÂПУЩЕNNОГО ПОГЛЕD'А (2020)
Multimedia installation


we've done it! this alienating sticking stuck togetherdo hope, you will understand, what I have written, although I don't understand what's written before me will help you remember that wejust don't laugh — this is any of us. not like clones which are replicated day in day out, forgetting that time exists altogetherthere is "before", "after", etc. we are different, we affect each other etc.to remember this even if you get all sticky and stuck, you can keep a diary or inhabit objectsit's good when something stands out STANDS OUT found itself and grows stronger chooses and defends itself though it sometimes happens that the skin inflames layer after layer if you look closely there is like a scale there with a bubble underneath they are connected with wires through which they transmit how to correctly hang out the washing but more important is that now there are independent FIGURES and the heaviness leaves your chest we are talking new a lot, we grow much a lot and now not sooner when it's gone dark we'll be able to see. so far the best of the ways I found to keep in touch for us is pain. only pain remains in the end, the signal comes through pain and unites us not piling us onto the same heap.

right, I don't have time, I have other things to do, not just this all these scribbles, so

friend
if you are reading it again
remember
WHEN YOU ARE STICKY AND STUCK HIT WHERE IT HURTS
Andrey Sikorsky
Born in 1966 in the village of Girey, Krasnodar region
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Series of assemblages "Frozen Time" (2019)

A letter from the sign "Kirov's Palace of Culture" (tin plate)
Slow (telephone, snails)
Rare Bird Metal, wood, seagull wing
No Time (clock dial, pigeon feather)
Vanitas (wood, brass, dog scull, snails)
Cow Scull
Family Portrait (frame, wallpaper)

Assemblages in the vanitas genre convey the idea of finiteness and futility of all the things in existence. Creatures which used to be alive once and working instruments turned into art-objects.
Dmitry Zheravov
Born in 1988 in Leningrad
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Imaginary Elevator Won't Come Anywhere (2020)
Installation

It sometimes happens that in a dream you have a feeling of constant foreboding or that some obstacle is insurmountable. An elevator that is not moving anywhere, or, while being in constant motion, does not arrive anywhere, may serve as an embodiment of such sensations.

There is a notion of "social elevator" denoting a symbolic mechanism used to gain various benefits. Today this notion is an ever growing cause for doubt. This construct illustrates the trap ensnaring a person or a group of people when they delegate a much needed task to be resolved by this mechanism. When, for all intents and purposes, it does not exist.
Yanina Boldyreva
Born in 1986 in Novosibirsk
Lives and works in Novosibirsk
Sheet happens (2016—2017)
Photography, objects, photobook


The project has two kinds of shots — landscape photography and still life (installations). Like dreams and reality the images alternate and continue each other. There emerges an impression of the expansion of borders between real and notional.

Yanina views the city landscape as an archaeological landmark, a cultural layer that helps the understanding of social processes.

Snowy desolate landscapes are a metaphor for a dormant society and inaction; this is exactly why these images depict bedroom communities. Installations — the frozen action, continuation of life almost extinct, plaster casts as images of people in their sleep. Installations are grouped by the principle of dream vision, they are irrational but made of fami­liar things. Between them you can find association links and references to reality.
Kerim Ragimov
Born in 1970 in Leningrad
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Central Heating System (Mirage) (2019)
Painting


This piece was painted in 2019 specially for the PARAZIT Association's exhibition Entryphone dedicated to the sacral side of "the domestic" and built as a large apartment in a gallery.

By that time the artist has for almost a year been preoccupied by the image of northern lights as a sublime shimmering symbol of death and cold, freezing as a way of "falling asleep into eternity." Fully intent on countering the invincibility of such "euthanasia" he exercises in picturesque sketches where the flashes of northern lights emerge in an image of white flag, the symbol of truce, request of negotiations and ceasefire motioned by an invisible hand.

Having made the classic central heating radiator the "body" of this wave of murderous aurora borealis and having thus bestowed on it the "warmth", the function of heating, the artist rhymes the opposites, and in the gap between them emerges the hope that the specter of warmth, the dream of warmth is not the last thing to be seen on the journey.
Alexander Agafonov
Born in 1972 in Perm
Lives and works in Perm
Quest II (2020)
Single-channel video


What underpins the work of the Quest series are the author's reimagined impressions of the game as a medium. Many years ago first textual games captivated the gamer by creating the effect of unpredictability and freedom. Obviously the game, being a deterministic structure, had neither. This situation can be viewed as a metaphor for the reality. Work represents the gamer world as a routine of an industrial city in the form of castors between which you can move around.
Svetlana Spirina
Born in 1990 in Yekaterinburg
Lives and works in Prague
Inaction Session #3 (2020)
Multimedia installation


This installation is a part of the Collective Inactions project which takes the form of a cult, experiment, imaginary landscape, endless digital and live meditation. It manifests in the forms of textual instructions, meditative music, performance sessions without audience, and public choreographic sessions. At this exhibition the project is realised in the format of a specially created installation Inaction Session #3 — an oasis for meditation and rest for the visitors.
Alexander Morozov
Born in 1974 in Lugansk
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Dystopia Station (2020)
Installation


With this piece the artist addresses the reconstruction of memory. A zeppelin assembled from office drawers hovers in the space of the Manege exhibition hall, a former garage of the NKVD forces. The aircraft not only "elevates" the context of the location but also draws our attention to the biography of Nikolay Lanceray. The project for the reconstruction of the horse guards' riding hall and turning it into the OGPU garage Lanceray created in a sharashka, a special design bureau where he was from July 1931 to 28 June 1935.

The filing drawer also serves as a cultural memory unit — the storage of documents in filing systems references the policy of establishing an archive and memory. And still stored in similar drawers are personal records of NKVD garage drivers who were a part of the repression machine, turning in time into its victims.

German Preobrazhensky
Material Resource
Our project is a total installation constructed of the notional but quite recognisable instances of the periphery — mire and condo entrance. The mire forms an active environment for material interactions, while the condo entrance opens the visual and semantic part of the exhibition. The project uses the works by young Siberian artists who have never been exhibited in metropolitan galleries; these names are new, unknown to wider audiences. These artists are very active, with their work they establish the contemporary arts situation locally, in the regions where they live.

Our project has accumulated their activities over a number of recent years, giving a good idea of their interests, at the same time establishing the general space for the perception of the exhibition. With the energy and the material of works of art by young Siberian artists, the project makes it possible to tell a big human story. This is the story of the relationship between small cities and the Centre, the story of the vast Nemoskva where the tapestry of contemporary Russian art is woven.
The genres and methods of artistic expression sometimes are quite unexpected for the viewer, being rather diverse in terms of artistic devices. There we have installations, multimedia, graffiti, and bas-reliefs; there are ready made objects too — graphics, interactive installations, photo colla­ges, and glitches. At the site you do not see a combination of works but rather a single — tied into a united whole — system of images, the total installation, all the elements of which are interwoven in a single assemblage which, in its principle, is open both to the viewers' participation and to critical interpretation.

The key idea of the exhibit is that the materiality makes its journey from a passive resource to an active creative force building contemporary art and making it possible to pave ways beyond the purely human view, immersing us in the depths of external deanthropologised media. To create new experience of interaction with the world — from unclear memories of the actual material items revealed by art, to the mobilisation of material resources of the nearby world, with which we are in a continuous contact but which we often fail to take into account.
Artists
Art group Space Cow
Art group 18:22
Anatoly Dolzhenko
Lada Ladnaya
Alexander Borisov
Alexander Nikolsky
Alexandra Melnikova
Kseniya Telyatnikova
Mitya Glavanakov
Konstantin Roslyakov
Art group Space Cow
Established in 2014
Gosha Yelayev, Masha Fohot, Lyosha Zhulikov
They live and work in Tymen and St Petersburg
Condo Entrance (2020)
Graffiti

The object presents the walls of an entrance of a high-rise provincial apartment block. The condo entrance may be consi­dered a transit area or a purifying filter between the outside environment and the habitual comfort of privacy. People do not live here — there are only traces bearing witness to their presence. Drawings, impressions, and writings left by humans just like by ancient barbarians, not on rocks, however, but on interior walls of a condo entrance. Stories and names of residents unknown, they boom through the echo of a multitude of voices pouring from nowhere to nowhere. Crammed with clutter, discomforted by candour. A roaring rumble fills the space. Valiantly penetrating the apartments' doors, the rumble gains momentum becoming tangible and material. And the walls become the reflection of life caught off-guard, the moment of liberation of unabashed emotion — veracious and vociferous.
Art group 18:22
Established in 1999
Aksinya and Nika Sarycheva
They live and work in Tomsk

BARBIE BEACH (2020)

There was a computer game called Barbie Beach in early 2000s. Barbie takes a seaside vacation where instead of taking it easy she comes up with various trials, competitions, contests which give no pleasure, their only goal is to earn points. A massive party awaits at the end. Barbie spends the points earned on getting inventory for the celebration. Celebration is a hard work. Work is a hard celebration.

Barbie beach is a certain way of life where meaningless but very genuine effort will never be justified, this is a state of both naïveté and solemnity at the same time. Barbie beach is being on the line. If you mix blue and red you get purple, if you add white, you get cool pink. It's as if you can't quite see it, it is right on the line between white and black. It's like a map of Siberia on snow-white paper where coal-black dots and lines are bogs, rivers, woods, fossil minerals and pink ones are regional borders, cities, and roads.

There are two BARBIE BEACH-themed projects presented at the exhibition.

Nika Sarycheva
Beautyvandalism (2020)
Exhibition space intervention


Beauty hurts, beauty pulls you in, beauty pushes you away. The positioning and selection of pieces happens right there at the location. The objects are marked in pink, unified, displaced into a parallel reality. These are broken, unwanted things picked (in the city, at the installation of exhibits, in a handbag etc.), things devoid of function, things notionally disengaged from reality.

Aksinya Sarycheva
Video project "Useful Work" (2019)
Video essay


The turnover of seemingly useful work dissected by the media starts looking like useless whirlwind flickering mess. All we see is just this torn up motion. Get up early, go to work. Work. Holidays. Get up late. Celebrate. Get up early, go to work, plug into the process. Reflect a long time.

Pieces of footage from Claire Denis's film Beau Travail interspersed with the Barbie Beach computer game make up a single film revealing amusing coincidences, juxtapositions, replaced meanings.

The second part, On Pink From Frost, is about Siberia, repeti­tions, the cyclicity of life and uselessness of work. All this order is just torn-up motions and chaos.
Anatoly Dolzhenko
Born in 1992 in Zmeinogorsk, Altai region
Lives and works in Tomsk
Elements (2017-2020)
Series of objects, ready made


The series Elements has two parts — Burnt and Treated with Water. The former includes fire damaged objects. The latter —things found on the banks of a Siberian river. Manmade, they received a new form through the impact of fire and water; these things lose their initial functions. The elements unblock their purpose, liberating them, opening them up for the existence in a new plane.

At the same time, to be able to see this, to perceive the individuality of each object, a certain shift in attention is needed, a new angle. Following this, the objects attain a kind of fractal structure where you can endlessly increase the degree of magnification and keep finding something new in them. Placing such objects in a gallery space is a step the artist takes toward the viewer. That said, everyone, surely, makes his/her own decision whether it is of interest or not to delve into the object, whether it is the thing's destiny to open itself up in the presence of a human.
Lada Ladnaya
Born in 1998 in Tyumen
Lives and works in Tyumen
Forces of the Deserted (2019-2020)
Series of photocollages


This project is about Tyumen suburbs, about houses and things deserted by people, abandoned and expired. The author is inte­rested in the edge where the human ends and only things remain dilapidating and dis­sipating left without the human concern. An opportunity emerges to look at utilitarian technical objects from another angle, to reveal their other meanings.

Actual materials have been picked up in share flats, boarding houses, derelict countryside and suburban houses, factories, and warehouses. The photocollage technique helps find common features in these things, trace how they may be connected without the human presence.
Alexander Borisov
Born in 1976 in Tomsk
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Camera Askewer (2020)
Photo installation


Petersburg is a palace on the marsh, inexhaustible resource of beauty, a cultural life centre where there is something happening all the time. Camera Askewer, examining the grand, the parade image of the city, puts it into a broader context of arts recording its multilayered and conflicted texture where the classic décor beauty lives next to ugly utilities companies' boards and advertising, works of anonymous artists, aftereffects of disasters of the burst water mains kind and simply the ravages of time. This said, Camera Askewer is not just the form of contemplation, it is an artistic gesture that helps understand that whether something is happening or not very much depends on the viewing angle.

The visual foundation underpinning the installation are the pieces in the technique of performative photography when the intentional camera movement becomes the key element of the shooting process while the documentary record of images happens in parallel to their transformation. The consequent pasting of the photos using the "out-sticking" method continues the logic of this approach.
Alexander Nikolsky
Born in 1984 in Kemerovo
Lives and works in Kemerovo
The Optic of the Material (2020)
Multimedia installation


The world needs an observer and only humans are endowed with an ability to contemplate. One-way mirrors have always been used to covertly observe something external, something Other. In this project the surrounded by mirrors Cartesian knower became the observer locked in laby­rinths of reverberating self-reflections where the self is the perspective convergence point. The mirrors are impenetrable only from one side and the knower can be gazed upon from the outside. The material outside world capable of perception can no longer be a passive substance. It is now possible that the external is redefined, turning from the observed into the observer. The notion of "objectivity" itself is changing — from impartial and generally valid way of assessment the objective is bestowed on objects, attaining the meaning of partiality and being unoccupied by the human presence.
Alexandra Melnikova
Born in Shushenskoye, Krasnoyarsk region
Lives and works in Tyumen
Recording Over (2020)
Installation


The basic material of this installation is a recording of an old TV program made with a film camera about 15 years ago. This film is an artefact, a material resource remaining from a human, a subject of research. The author started recording new videos over the old TV program. There are decades of the new era between the recordings. Can changes be traced with the use of these materials?

There is a lot of people in the past, they had gathered to listen to someone, some actions had occurred, but everything had been staged — the sound of applause on the given signal; everything had been controlled by the broadcast director. In the present there are almost no people; the researcher is a person, however, always out of the shot. The nature, surroundings, environment are most important here.

Everything changes on the screen every passing second — dark frames are replaced with light, colourful, unexpec­ted graphical elements, bright stripes. A blue screen can be perceived as heaven, and the lips inside it as a god's kiss. And nobody records these emerging new stories, their creation is unpredictable, the tools come alive and become editors. The nature of the material prevails over the human and his/her intentions, story, and actions.
Kseniya Telyatnikova
Born in 1998 in Omsk
Lives and works in Tomsk
Hyle 2 (2019-2020)
Series of photos


A person lives surrounded by an untold number of textures formed by all sorts of methods and they all are self-sufficient. There is no need to look for anything special, you could just stare at a kitchen cabinet or a tree, the one nearest to the window — and there is a great chance to behold new rhythms or an entire story.

The author found that she credits her work table top with exceptionality — the material, boards, scratches, stains. She took photos of this. And then she realised that crack lines on the wall are no less significant than the wall itself. This was the transition to art. You suddenly find yourself enveloped by the ornaments of leaves, folds of fabric, ceramic tiles, trails, curves of branches, folded pages, tracks in snow, fences, eggshells, cigarette stubs strewn around, windows, your own fingers, and simply the world.

The series of shots presented is an attempt to sort the visible into varied in their sizes and properties fragments in their entirety.
Mitya Glavanakov
Born in 1996 in Tomsk
Lives and works in Tomsk and Novosibirsk
Mire (2020)
Environmental installation


Mire aims to become not an objectified installation but rather an environment for the active interaction of various artistic practices. Through the connection to the "mire" of transducers of motion, pressure, heat, and light, it is vested with inhuman perceptions; these are the intertwined agencies, objects, and crosslinks. The purpose of Mire is to link its participants into close-knit neighbourhood breathing the same air, and roll out the process of mutual impact — interlock of causes, effects, concern, and response. Everything here is concealed by the thick layer of subtle causality and on the surface — the vivid echo and bubbles of concealed processes of decay, enumeration, and encoding. Without knowing each other's languages all that's left for these substances is to touch, wink with the lights at each other, and listen to everything around. There are whole epochs of anaerobic decomposition archived there and there's enough room for everyone.

The authorship and the position of Mire in the museum production genre taxonomy (installation, expo-design, curatorial project) happen to be impermanent and fluid. We try to watch this impermanency with attention not daring to interfere, but get accidentally entwined in the labour of its inhuman agencies.
Konstantin Roslyakov
Born in 1990 in Tyumen
Lives and works in Tyumen
Boundaries and Boundless (2020)
Multimedia installation


The technique of superimposing linear structures is present in all cultures and found as early as in the Neolithic era, take, for instance the Gavrinis Island corridor burial chamber. No researcher can say for sure what these lines mean exactly, there are many interpretations and theories which get both confirmed and disproven. The essence of the "boundless" in this key is the numerous interpretability of this kind of pattern (meta-interpretation), making it out of the framework of understanding. The notion of the "boundless" (Russian bespredel) in this context is not vulgar/vernacular; the author of the installation attempts to find another meaning and make the understanding of "bondless" more profound, perceiving it as unlimited vastness. The essence of a "boundary" is in setting and reaffirming a single view, a single creator of the detailed technique of making this pattern, a single author. In history of art such method is ubiquitous, and each is different from one another regardless of the common uniformity. The subject of "boundary and boundless" also relates to the aspiration to change reality thus making oneself think differently and become one with the World here and now, not having to change the place of residence.

Vladimir Seleznyov
Park for Recreation and Leisure
The feeling of stagnation, the experience of otherness — these are the feelings induces by the pieces of this project. Ghosts of the past and images of the contemporary world descending into the archaic — they live in the Park for Recreation and Leisure. In its structure it is reminiscent of Russian city parks with their merry-go-rounds, fountains, and sculptures. It makes you think of backstreet yard entrances, little ground floor shops in residential buildings, unkempt yards between apartment blocks built in the Khrushchev era — the places where the prescriptive aesthetics are linked to the big money and big history. But you are in the here and now, in the life the way it is. At the same time, this is the park made of dreams, the place where we put in storage our sorrows, where the rides are enjoyed by wood sculptures and the CCTV cameras are turned on with the sole purpose of recording the emptiness, and where lampposts listen to the sound of fountains.

The total installation Park for Recreation and Leisure was created especially for the NEMOSKVA project. The artists in the art group North-7 — Anna and Vitaly Cherepanov, Andrey Rudyev, Egor Fedorichev — while living in different regions of the country are united by the practice of making art-objects of everyday things transfigured by the authors' mythology, by performativity and art-recycling, and not only that, but also by their relationship with their own art as a daily ritual.
For Anna and Vitaly Cherepanov the "Free Will Park" becomes such a ritual; it is a project for rolling out art in derelict buildings, woodland parks, and vacant grounds. The North-7 group's works often look like items from archaeological digs; the artists demonstrate the new place for a contemporary human — in a gap between the archaic and the contemporary, inside the natural and the objective connections. Egor Fedorichev makes strokes with oil paints on various surfaces — unprimed canvas, advertising banners, and pieces of fabric from building sites. For the artist this is much like alchemy — the transition to a new level, the re-emergence of inanimate into animate. In his retrofuturistic object Andrey Rudyev turns to the issue of self-identification.

The artist tries on his alter ego images of various historic and media personalities, trying to answer the question, for himself — first and foremost, what an artistic expression may be at a time of external disturbances. Nikolay Akimov, an old-age pensioner from Vyksa, a small town in the Nizhny Novgorod region, is all about creativity, but does not consider himself an artist. For him, creating wood sculptures and placing them around his house is such a ritual act.
Artists
Art group North-7
Vitaly and Anna Cherepanov
Egor Fedorichev
Andrey Rudyev
Nikolay Akimov
Art group North-7
Established in 2013
Anna Andrzhiyevskaya, Pyotr Dyakov, Alexandra Zubritskaya, Nestor Kharchenko, Oleg Khmelyov, Leonid Tskhe,
Alexander Tsikarishvili, Yelizaveta Tsikarishvili, Ivan Chemakin, Nestor Engelke
They live and work in St Petersburg

Portico-Garage
Old Billboards
Cobweb
Kids' Corner
Merry-go-round
Large Fountain
Shooting Range
Leningrad Granny

Installations


Most of the object in the total installation "Park for Recreation and Leisure" are made by the members of the North-7 Group. The artists often use the structured chaos as the key principle underpinning separate pieces made by the participants and the entire exhibition projects of the whole group. The Northeners experiment with techniques employing in their installations graphics, paintings, sculpture, photos, ready-mades, and multi­media art. The artists cultivate their own mythology that emerges in the interaction between the group members engaged in the creation of the projects. The team's installations look like things found in a dig by the archaeologists of the future studying the cultural layer contemporary to us — fragments of buildings, misplaced things, broken tools, and rituals whose meaning was erased by the time passed.
Vitaly and Anna Cherepanov
Anna was born in 1989 in Kachkanar
Vitaly was born in 1990 in Nizhny Tagil
They live and work in Nizhny Tagil and Yekaterinburg

Free Will Park (2020)
Installation, found objects

Theatre under Cameras (2020)
Video installation

These artists have two projects under development presented at the exhibition. The Free Will Park gives a whiff of irony over the folk style wisdom existing in an eternal tandem with negligence. Russian realities become the staging area for installation about life in a not-quite-demolished system of coordinates. A high sounding name resonates with the object of art touchingly composed of found abandoned objects, graffiti which is sewn by the artists from rags, and absurd fountains.

The second project is a series of installations Theatre under Cameras. Cities have cameras installed and images they record are made available to everyone. Everybody can see what is happening in the streets, the change of the times of day, the weather, the motion of vehicles and pedestrians, on occasion — how things are built or destroyed. As a rule, a viewer knows the location of the occurrences while knowing nothing about people happened to be in the shot or their motives. In a purpose-built security guard's room every viewer can try the Big Brother role, to watch the "play" as it unfolds in the exhibition space.
Egor Fedorichev
Born in 1988 in Barnaul
Lives and works in Moscow and Omsk
Wild Game (2018)
Paintings


Where is the edge between the figurative and abstract art? This is the first question that comes to mind when looking at the works of Egor Fedorichev where he uses images of baroque paintings driving them to the extreme degree of expression, to the author's abstraction. It is as if the artist guts the Dutch still lives being interested not so much in the subject reality of the paintings, the so called wild game, but rather the objectness of the painting itself. It is this which Fedorichev slays and makes drip in smudges into the tarpaulin sacks-pockets nailed to the bottom edge of distorted canvases. With all the savagery of the process these paintings-sacks possess morbid attraction and beauty. Since the beginning of the last century artists strive to obliterate, smear, remake the masterpieces of the past thus resurrecting and contemporising them again and again.
Andrey Rudyev
Born in a Cossack village of Leningradskaya, Krasnodar region
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Difficulties of Self-Identity (2020)
Multimedia installation

We are all witnesses and participants of impetuous changes occurring in the world around us. The coming of the digital age has impacted on all the spheres of human life and, naturally, art. The position of an artist-­aesthete, a monopolist of the sphere of the beautiful that dominated for a number of centuries has started wavering a while back; the ivory tower is falling apart under the strikes of external commotions. Social, economic, political, and environmental crises come one after another and the all-pervasive internet leaves no opportunity to remain uninvolved in the events occurring. What could and should art become in these conditions? The form keeps lagging behind the content, blurring with new meanings and actuality the contours only just formed. Today one can both envy and commiserate with a burgeoning author. On the one hand, the entire history of art from the Neolithic era to the latest exhibitions is always at hand, on the other — how do you find your own identity in these conditions of "everything and all at once"? Everyone has to find his/her own answer to this question.
Nikolay Akimov
Born in 1949 in Vyksa, Nizhny Novgorod region

Brunhilda and Merovech (2019–2020)
Wood sculpture

Giraffe (2019)
Sculpture


Nikolay Akimov is usually very modest considering himself a self-taught amateur rather than an artist. For many years he works as a decorator in many and varied divisions of the Vyksa Steel Works. His decoration pieces still can be found in Vyksa schools, colleges, and kindergartens. Having retired Nikolay Akimov got involved in freeform creativity. In recent years he is particularly interested in wood sculpture and root carving. He carves wood sculptures and places them in the Vyksa city park, he makes wooden toys for his grandchildren, makes carved wood decorations for his house that is gradually turning into a real landmark. There are two of his pieces at the exhibition. Brunhilda and Merovech like Adam and Eve from the authors' own mythology, send you back to archaic sculpture characters. The sculpture Giraffe in its style lies between naïve and primitive street art.


Svetlana Usoltseva
Mimicry
The sensation of a missed moment and the desire to be in different places at once do not depend on whether you live in a small city or in a capital. The expression "everything happens where we are not" emerges regularly. These fears in the artistic scene are caused, among other things, by the vast number of contemporary art events happening in the world — biennials, fairs, festivals, exhibitions etc. One discovery is replaced with another leaving you, again, with no time to get anywhere. The desire to stop, look around, focus on the "here and now", to change the habitual optics, comes more and more often. Mimicry becomes an artistic strategy purporting not the opportunity to stay out of the way or the adaptation to different situations, but the ingression to the internal, the implantation into the existing, defeating everything around with "action arguments."

Events and projects in the art scene, including those in the Russian regions, are not always apparent. However, the occurrences, inconspicuously mimicking the daily routine and simple actions, bear apparent results. While slowing down, we do not stop, but chart courses for expression and reflection.

Artists from different Russian cities — Yekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Krasnodar, Moscow, St Petersburg, and Chelyabinsk — take part in the Mimicry exhibition. In the projects presented, however, they do not turn to regional issues and do not examine the identities of places where they live, but rather express their relationship with reality, mimicking, sliding, or implanting themselves into the fabric of a real or mythical city and space.
Contemplation and focusing on details, reveries of utopian reality and escapism, be it compulsory or coveted, are significant to the authors.

In their projects Alena Tereshko and Asya Marakulina work with the spaces of different cities. Moving along the streets and carrying out practices they build invisible links and attempt becoming a part of these spaces. Maх Alyokhin, Dmitry Kramar, Alexander Goncharenko and Sergey Lyulyukin make interventions mimicking cultural institutions in various city objects — the Shukhov Tower, derelict mansion house and barges. With an example of a community of ducks the art group I Want to Be Sokov examines the opportunity to break a long-­established balance of a system by the introduction of a different object. Anastasia Bogomolova creates her documenta (one of the most significant arts events in Europe); today, however, becoming a participant, or even a viewer of documenta, remains in the realm of dreams. In Anna Rotaenko's video the utopian reality is unreachable too; the movie forever stays in the trailer format. Anna Martynenko suggests to change the optics and to find oneself in a new data field, while the Micro-art-group Gorod Ustinov in their workshop installation suggests distancing form the space saturated with events, changing the optics, and charting an own system of coordinates all of us need so much.
Artists
Anna Martynenko
Micro-art-group Gorod Ustinov
Anastasia Bogomolova
Anna Rotayenko
Maх Alyokhin, Dmitry Kramar, Alexander Goncharenko, and Sergey Lyulyukin
Maх Alyokhin
Art group I want to be Sokov
Asya Marakulina
Alyona Tereshko
Anna Martynenko
Born in 1985 in St Petersburg
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Manege. Datafield (2020)
Installation


A space in which there is an exhibition is saturated with data and is supposed to focus attention on certain items — works of art, themes, contexts. However, this space exists in and of itself — the architecture, surfaces of various qualities, the sizes of details, the patterns of textures. In order to notice this stratum of the reality, you have to distance yourself from the current situation and redirect your line of vision.

The installation is a high pile of booklets with a route-map to navigate around the space. Every visitor can take one and, following the instructions, go to every point marked on the map. At each of the points, attention is focused on a parti­cular detail. A phenomenon of the physical reality is examined with the help of numerical values which are, for the ease of perception, illustrated with graphs and diagrams. While distracted from reality we get immersed in the examination of the physical world and find ourselves in a new data field.
Micro-art-group Gorod Ustinov
Established in 2010
Live and work in the moving сity of Ustinov
Untitled (2020)
Workshop installation

Practical experience is the introduction, comment, afterword, and silent explanation of "workshop installations." It enables tuning the mode of perception into the optic of the exhibit.

This time there are no materials, no tools. The exhibit space turned inside out contains a void, a nothing, the original indeterminacy. Works of art, objects, traces of attention are all outside. Inside it is dark, fading, there you can tune out of the external agenda.

To enter a void is to find your way into the invisible background of the external, the exhibited, to find yourself beyond or underneath the object. To shift the attention from the existence to the foundation of genesis. To find yourself inside a stone, a person, in the darkness of the outer space. To discover yourself in the ambivalence of void-space, stop-motion, freedom-inaction, prospects-uncertainty, in contemplation of indeterminacy. And to chart — with an unpredictable arbitrary productivity — your own system of coordinates.
Anastasia Bogomolova
Born in 1985 in Kustanay, Kazakhstan
Lives and works in Yekaterinburg
documenta (2019)
Video, photo documentation of performance


Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Varna, Varshavka, Fershampenuaz, Kassel — almost twenty villages in the south of the Chelyabinsk region were named after European place-names. Every one of them is linked to a victorious battle of the Russian army in 18-19 centuries in which Nagaybak Cossacks (ethnic/religious group of Orthodox Christian Tatars) took part. The legends of the ancestors' military glory and European roots of these villages remain a part of their local identity and a source of pride.

In her long-term project Eurotour Anastasia Bogomolova takes a trip to this "Europe" as a source of ambition for the discovery of a greater world, whose accessibility is pushed away by new geopo­litical, economic, and — in 2020 — epidemiological realities. The artist, in the circumstances of local isolation, addresses the documenta performance staged in the village of Kassel, Chelyabinsk region (making a reference to its famous namesake European exhibition), to the emptiness of a Russian field.

documenta commissioner — Anastasia Bogomolova
Artists of the main and special projects — Anna and Vitaly Cherepanov
Anna Rotayenko
Born in 1990 in Grozny
Lives and works in Moscow
LUXURYAT (2020)
Single channel video


A group of young people take a trip to the seaside and establish a commune, defining themselves as the new working class, simply taking into account the capitalist era privileges. Precariat is a popular notion. Luxury is an aesthetic category. Artists, inspired with the ideas of Kropotkin, Marx, Brenner, and Makhno, start reinventing reality taking into account overconsumption, global networks, corporations, and the reluctance to work. Thus emerges the Luxuryat Manifesto, written by the participants of the trip, documentary footage of which served as a source material for the video. The utopian reality is near yet unreachable, like a movie whose trailer turns out to be just a fake.

Manifesto co-authors: ZIP Group (Stepan and Vasily Subbotin, Evgeny Rimkevich), Eldar Ganeyev, Elena Ishchenko, Svetlana Isayeva, Gediminas Daugela, Darya Orlova, Dana Kosmina et al.
Maх Alyokhin, Dmitry Kramar, Alexander Goncharenko, and Sergey Lyulyukin
The X of Culture (Soft Institution) (2018—present day)
Exhibitions and actions, documentation


A city can be perceived as a stack of layers of conflicts crossing over — business and authorities compete for every square inch of space. As a result of this, the city residents feel alienated from the city itself, a home for them ends at their apartments' thresholds, and the streets become a peculiar tunnel between two premises leading from the apartment to the office, lecture room, or another apartment. The obliteration of this sensation is simply mandatory — we call it "reclaim the city" practices.

We started a series of city interventions in the summer of 2018 in Krasnodar under a working title The X of Culture, redesignating various spaces into a semblance of cult­ural institutions, each intervention carried out on behalf of a mythical organising entity. All the initiatives have been carried out without permits from authorities and had no financial support.
Maх Alyokhin
Born in 1994 in Krasnodar
Lives and works in Krasnodar
Foray Map (2019)
Print


The map built by the artist is a result of a seven-year-long monitoring of urban spaces. It marks all the locations in the city where you can put your works of street art; some are better suited for installations, some — for murals and posters etc. Some locations presented on the map have already been used a number of times while others never have.

Thanks to this map we find locations for interventions.
Art group I want to be Sokov
Established in 2018 in Chelyabinsk
DUCK-intervention "Wild Duck" (2019)
Object, observation diary, mockumentary

A disturbance can be caused in any established system by an introduction of an object full of otherness; it would undermine the system from within. On the foundation of this thesis the author formulated a hypothesis on the impact of feminism on the structure of an androcentric society. The duck-intervention is a sociological experiment examining social relations by the example of a raft of ducks. Ducks have been fed by people for a very long time and are very much used to them; they live in metropolitan cities in close contact with humans. In terms of being androcentric the anatine society is very much like the human society and, using the former as an example, conclusions can be made regarding the latter. The key tool of this study was planting an agent — the Pink Duck — into an established raft. The said agent mimicked the exterior of a typical urban broadbill, had the same body proportions, but plumed in a bright pink colour embodying the professed femininity. The results of the study laid the foundation for the work entitled Duck-intervention Wild Duck.
Asya Marakulina
Born in 1988 in Perm
Lives and works in St Petersburg
The Rule of Seam (2014–2015, 2020)
Walks, diary, fabric


The Rule of Seam has not been thought out as a project; this is rather just a story about a behavioural practice of mine in an urban environment. With the made up rules for walking — entwining my body into the street fabric — I attempted to become a part of the city in which I felt like an alien and a castaway. This kind of the thread-and-needle game, the rituals of "sewing" and "cutting" supported me at this stage of my adaptation. The texts are taken from my personal diary from those years.
Alyona Tereshko
Born in 1986 in Ishim, Tyumen region
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Stroll (2020)
Videoinstallation


"My reflection slithers on the glass skin of the city. I am used to slithering past shop windows behind which the spaces are constructed specifically to cause my admiration — exciting still lifes made of commodities and things, or interiors in the stage of renovation with constructs/skeletons of buildings revealed, elements of dilapidated false walls, plastic drapes, and industrial vacuum cleaners. There are buildings made entirely of glass; they are like mazes, if you look at your own reflections in them, you may get lost, or, at the very least, experience the breathtaking sensation of disorientation. Then you start seeing double and then multiple, a shop window after a shop window, a building after a building, a city after a city, and so forth to the eternity, like in the corridor of reflections", — the artist says.

The video, shot in Helsinki and St Petersburg, has no physical link to a location. Together with the artist you drift along the mazes of a mirror city balancing between reality and reflection.

Artyom Filatov
Death is Just Around the Corner
When Boris Motrosov's object — a red sign saying "Happiness is just around the corner" — was being installed in Perm 11 years ago, the Perm Cultural Revolution was in its full flow. The large regional city was turning into a centre of arts on the backdrop of a metropolis. We already know that the revolution has passed — instead of the contemporary art museum PERMM, that was supposed to be housed in the historic river boat terminal building opposite the sign, there is the Russia — My History museum, and the Happiness… has become the city's calling card. Although the actual object was not specifically thought out for the Kama embankment, but for a landscape festival Artfield near Moscow, it has maintained its ironic tone for a long time. Andrey Yerofeyev, an art historian and curator, points out that, as years passed, the slogan has gone out of date so much so that "in the current context it looks like a creative realtor's advertising gimmick."

In 2018 the street artist Aleksey Ilkayev made an intervention into Motrosov's object replacing the word "happiness" with "death." The amendment to the slogan has brought it up to date, as if the piece has looked around itself and checked its clock. An artist does not have to maintain the status of an echo-chamber, he/she can give disappointment to the world. You can keep repeating "I'm a part of Russia, Russia will last a thousand years, so I won't think about my own death", but it is in negative emotions that we find something which might help us accept, talk through and find a solution.
When a discussion starts on the topic of contemporary art in the regions, we rejoice in talking about its close links to the local context, emerging and disappearing self-assemblies, but our voice, seemingly so confident, is somewhat trembling. In many regions there is virtually no system, and activities, whatever they are, are underpinned only by the initiative of particular people. The much needed education — not only for artists, but also for curators and art historians — remains the main problem. To get it, you have to go to the capitals and, looking back, you don't understand, to what exactly you can come back. As a consequence of this, to a large extent, regional art is rarely described and even rarer gets a scholarly conceptualisation. We cannot say that there is no change. Large federal museums are preparing to open their regional branches, self-assemblies turn into the system's backbone institutions. At the same time the artist Pavel Otdelnov can talk about the history of his hometown's chemical industry from any location in the world. Regional thinking should be replaced with horizontal connections and professional mobility, and this implies that we have to get rid of provincial complexes. Even if Death is Just Around the Corner, it is not a reason to stop, quite the opposite, it is the reason to go forward. Not reaching the summit, looking around, and moving on to the next mountain.
Artists
iBiom
Vladimir Chernyshov
Vasily Kononov-Gredin
Anastasia Tsaider
Anastasia Vepreva
Aleksey Ilkayev
iBiom
Established in 2019
Anna Prilutskaya, Tata Gorian, Evgeniya Zolotnikova, and Olga Zubova
They live and work in St Petersburg
iBiom Tender Service (2020)
Installation


As a result of long negotiations the company iBiom received the order to provide "tender services" at the Manege during the exhibition. The package provided by the company includes cleaning stairwells, "tender" audio accompaniment, a learning play video on personal hygiene compliance, setting up rest spots with safe mediated communication, as well as information posters and multifunctional key fobs. You may have encountered iBiom products and employees before, but not noticed them. In order to avoid unwanted contacts, the services are provided in the background mode. There is a cabinet at the exhibition with uniforms, tools and consumables for cleaning to which the company employees have easy access. Thanks for choosing iBiom!
Vladimir Chernyshov
Born in 1992 in Nizhny Novgorod
Lives and works in Nizhny Novgorod
Pool (2020)
Installation

The installation Pool was first presented at Vladimir Chernyshov's personal exhibition Tar and Gnomes in 2019 at the Futuro gallery in Nizhny Novgorod. The perimeter filled up with petroleum products contains the contradictions — revealed by the artist — between nature and humans. The elements inaccessible for a detailed examination are subjected to attempts of domestication. They are built into the human-centric picture even in conversations about ecology. The artist offers up another relationship with nature through presuming its inarticulability and mystique. Experimenting with substances and their combinations, the artist subjects them to endless transformations bestowing changeable meanings upon them. The focus of attention is not on the beauty and riches of nature, but on rather trivial materials. Oil spills and forest fires become a proper part of nature as it is today.
Vasily Kononov-Gredin
Born in 1990 in Urzhum, Kirov region
Lives and works in Kirov
Fountain (2020)
Installation

This installation, created specifically for the Manege space, is a bowl of a city fountain torn from the ground. The author turns to the sensation of stagnation, turning it into a material object. The flow of time has stopped in unison with the solidified torrents of water that never touch the floor. A fountain in Kirov, where the artist lived and worked before moving to Moscow, has served as a prototype for this piece. It may seem that nothing happens in his hometown, and, on the other hand, any changes disturbing the status quo are perceived with painful intensity.
Anastasia Tsaider
Born in 1983 in Segezha, Republic of Karelia
Lives and works in St Petersburg and Moscow
Arcadia (2020)
Installation


The project Arcadia is about searching for the pastoral idyll in austere modernist neighbour­hoods built all over the USSR between the late fifties and the nineties. Most often they were built from scratch in an empty area, for which, in accordance to the General Plan, there was a design for all the necessary infrastructure including public parks and gardens. Currently all this post-soviet urban greenery is left unattended. Plants and trees turned witnesses of the transformation of the socialist city-garden into the jungle left to its own devices, creeping all over the living ruins. The architecture remaining from the unrealised utopia is hanging between the past and a renovation program. Like Anna Tsaider's other projects, this one examines the collective memory shaped by the social conditions and the environment.

The photos for the project were taken in Togliatti, Vladivostok, Moscow, St Petersburg, Minsk (Belarus), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Bishkek and Osh (Kyrgyzstan).
Anastasia Vepreva
Born in 1989 in Arkhangelsk
Lives and works in St Petersburg
Stories of Failures (2020)
Total installation


Stories of Failures is an archive of rejection letters in response to artists' submissions to open calls — residencies, internships, grants, and awards. In hopes of receiving the coveted opportunity — be it money for the implementation of a project, or a long trip abroad — a young author fills out a multitude of uniform questionnaires. With initial rejections the artist's hope fades, the artist is frustrated but carries on filling out the necessary forms. The accumulated archive constructs the group therapy situation since it is not just you who gets rejected. The project mocks artists' perception of contests which they love and hate at the same time. In the years of gathering rejections the author of the Stories of Failures became a curator with her own festival making open calls. On several occasions she got into a situation of receiving rejections written by herself. "The initial equality balance of positions has started to wobble here; in a certain sense I stopped being like everyone else — the rejected — and became the other — the rejector", says Anastasia Vepreva.
Aleksey Ilkayev
Born in 1992 in Perm
Lives and works in Perm
You Will Die Anyway (2020)
Installation


You Will Die Anyway is a contemporary memento mori. A neon sign powered by a treadmill is a marker of the entertainment economy that places the consumer, like a hamster, in an eternally spinning wheel. The exercise machine becomes a symbol of the healthy lifestyle industry which, in its extreme manifestations, denies getting old, turns a blind eye to death shifting its presence to the fringe. It is as if the artist refers to the words from The Wisdom of the Sands by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published after the author's death. "You can know nothing of the stages on the way... Only the direction has a meaning. It is the going towards that matters, not the destination: for all journeys end in death."
Organizers
Pushkin State Museum
of Fine Arts


President
Irina Antonova

Director
Marina Loshak

Deputy Director, Chief Curator
Tatyana Potapova

Deputy Director in charge of research
Ilya Doronchenkov

Deputy Director in charge of economics Maria Salina

Deputy Director for regional development
Ekaterina Kochetkova
NEMOSKVA

Commissioner
Alisa Prudnikova

Executive Director
Anastasia Lomonosova

Curator
Antonio Geusa

Head Manager
Viktoria Salla

Public Program Curator
Larisa Grinberg

Editor
Kristina Markova

Technical Direction
Aleksander Kostylev, Pavel Lushin, Vyacheslav Pavlovich

Construction Coordinators
Yulia Sharkina, Anna Prokhorova

Art Director
Irina Korotich

Architects
RHIZOME
Manege Central Exhibition Hall

Director
Pavel Prigara

Deputy Director of Exhibition
Svetlana Zenina

Deputy Director of Development
Anna Yalova

Deputy Director of Security
Yuri Samoylov

Adviser to the Director for
international initiatives
Anna Kirikova

Project Coordinators
Vera Reichet, Alexandra Larchenko

PR and Communication
Alexandra Kovaleva, Diana Bissembina, Yulia Evstratova

Photographer
Mikhail Vilchuk

Administrative Department
Denis Kalyadin, Zhanna Botka, Elena Zubtsova, Tatyana Krylova, Anastasia Levchenko, Konstantin Chernov

Maintenance Department
Gennady Kuzmichev, Olga Gavrilova, Nikolay Epifanov, Artur Ivantsov, Vadim Semik

Curator of Volunteers School
Irina Levashova

Tours of the exhibition
Yaroslav Monakhov, Natalia Opolchenova
Vladimir Potanin Foundation
strategic partner


General Director
Oksana Oracheva

Program Director
Oksana Fodina

Public Relations Director
Yulia Grozovskaya

SIBUR
official partner

Director of business support in the regions where SIBUR operates
Stanislav Kasparov

Chief expert of business support in the regions where SIBUR operates
Varvara Melekestseva

Fineartway
general logistics partner

General Director
Ilya Volf

Managing partner
Diana Motsonashvili

ROSIZO
technical support

General Director
Tatyana Volosatova
ON ORGANIZATION ISSUES
anastasiya.lomonosova@pushkinmuseum.art

ADDRESS
13, build. 2., Zoologicheskaya st.
Moscow, 123242