In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, there’s a new kind of revolution taking place at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in 2017.
Artists are taking center stage—more than 100 of them—not only through presenting works that engage audiences in the social, cultural, and political questions that are pertinent to our time, but through curating shows, developing new research into little known phenomena arising in Russia, writing books, and making new works specifically for the Museum site.
Throughout the year the building will be transformed in different ways, creating diverse environments through which to experience and get involved with art. In spring, the Museum will offer a full immersion into what artists are producing across the country now—and in the past—with the very first Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, as well as an exhibition that focuses on Garage Archive and a new Atrium Commission by Irina Korina. In the summer, four radically different exhibitions offer a global perspective on culture, including music and architecture, featuring projects developed by David Adjaye, Sammy Baloji, Stephen Coates and Paul Heartfield, and Raymond Pettibon. Then in the fall, the first retrospective of Takashi Murakami in Russia will dramatically change the way we navigate the Museum, offering a completely new perspective on this prolific artist’s output, as well as the Soviet Modernist building that Garage now calls home.
Large-scale commissions on Garage Square by Takashi Murakami, and Ugo Rondinone will literally absorb visitors in art and ideas throughout the year, providing new spaces for participation. A new book series—Artists Write—will bring readers closer to the artist’s imagination, starting with the vivid texts of Viktor Pivovarov, and by the end of the year a unique annual training program developed by Garage Inclusive Programs will ensure that the first-ever deaf guides will be ready to run sign language tours in art museums all over Moscow, expanding the audience for art across the city.
Continuing to strengthen our understanding of the underground histories of Russian contemporary art, long-term research initiatives in Garage Archive are being ignited through the involvement of artists such as Olga Chernysheva, Vyacheslav Kuritsyn, Vladimir Logutov, Andrei Monastyrsky, and Kirill Savchenkov; as well as through collaborations with international specialists during the three-month Garage Archive Summer Research Program and the 5th Garage International Conference in the fall, which will focus on the archive as a tool for survival in regions of limited infrastructural development for art. Material evidence from the Archive will also be made more widely available through the launch of two new Garage Publications, which will explore performance art and art criticism in Russia.
Looking to new horizons and a new generation of practitioners, three initiatives give voice to artists and thinkers who are seeing contemporary society through fresh eyes. In Garage Field Research, eight new projects on little-known cultural or social histories of Russia will feature in the second “progress report” exhibition next winter. In parallel, a new publishing series GARAGE.txt will be launched in 2017 in recognition of the need to support academic research. Through an open call, two original texts on Russian art history, media theory, or critical theory will be selected for wide distribution. Meanwhile, encouraging the art managers of the future, Garage Education has teamed up with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration to launch the first courses in the history of exhibitions and museum studies as part of the MA Program in Art Business.
Whether celebrating the achievements of the past or encouraging a creative future, in 2017 Garage is living up to its promise to be a place where people, art, and ideas make history.
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