Triennial Artists List Unveiled

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art has unveiled the list of artists for the inaugural Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art that will be on show March 10–May 7, 2017.

Garage Triennial was developed as a result of the largest-ever survey of art practice across Russia. Over the course of a year, six members of Garage team traveled through the country’s eight federal districts to meet with artists and ascertain the key ideas and urgencies that are relevant to Russian visual culture today.

Working with Garage’s regional network of art practitioners, who were advisers and guides for each local context, the curators met with over 200 artists, ranging from 19 to 69 years of age, and have selected over 68 artists and artist groups to participate in the Triennial. The artists live in more than 40 cities—from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Their work reveals the scope of art practice in the country today.

The Triennial will take place in the Museum and the surrounding area of Gorky Park. For the opening of the exhibition, participating artists will convene in Moscow, establishing the potential for the development of a country-wide, peer-to-peer network for the first time in Russia. Responding to the lack of resources available to many artists, the Triennial will involve a number of newly-commissioned works, as well as new installations.

From this research, the сurators identified seven vectors through which the current art life of the country can be broadly understood. Artists selected for the Triennial are presented according to these tendencies:

Master Figure

These artists have an authoritative artistic language, which extends beyond the place where they live and work. They influence creative life in Russia, form the basis of younger generation’s artistic ideals, and provide examples of a successful career as an artist living and working in the country.
The artists are: Pavel Aksenov, Dmitry Bulatov, Ilgizar Khasanov, Andrei Monastyrsky, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Dmitri Prigov, and 33+1.

Personal Mythologies

This section includes artists who have developed complex aesthetic systems through a holistic approach to art practice that goes beyond stylistic boundaries. The rich visual worlds they create employ all available means of expression, often reflecting on existing myths about Russia—or “Russianness”—that live in the collective consciousness of the nation. At other times, the highly introspective worlds of these artists serve as an escape, or a refuge, from the ordinary course of daily life.
The artists are: Evgeny Antufiev, Vladimir Arkhipov, Alexander Bayun-Gnutov, Gentle Women group, Micro-art-group Gorod Ustinov, Anfim Khanykov, Damir Muratov, Nikolai Panafidin, Pavel Pepperstein, Alexander Povzner, Mikhail Smaglyuk, Albert Soldatov, Olga Subbotina and Mikhail Pavlukevich, and Dimitri Venkov.

Fidelity to Place

The theme of “place” and the specific nature of each context and history of geography might easily be termed intransient. Within the Russian multicultural context, this way of thinking occupies a special position. The diversity of the country and the consequent logistical difficulties—alongside the rich historical context—inspire artists to reflect on that which can be found close to hand, seeking meaning in their surroundings.
The artists are: Anastasia Bogomolova, Ilya Dolgov, Aslan Gaisumov, Kirill Garshin, Evgeny Ivanov, Anna Kabisova and Evgeny Ivanov, Murad Khalilov,Taus Makhacheva, Alexander Matveev, Sergey Poteryaev, Vladimir Seleznyov, and Andrey Syailev.

Common Language

This section brings together artists working with the international language of contemporary art, thus requiring no “translation” in terms of common cultural understanding. In their work, these practitioners refer to themes such as collective memory, strategies of communication, artificial intelligence, or human suffering in ways that can be understood beyond the nation state or individual identification.
The artists are: Agency of Singular Investigations (Stanislav Shuripa, Anna Titova), Danil Akimov, Victor Alimpiev, BlueSoup group, Evgeny Granilshchikov,Kirill Makarov, Roman Mokrov, Mayana Nasybullova, Ivan Novikov, Alexandra Paperno, Anna Parkina, Sasha Pirogova, Sveta Shuvaeva, Elena Slobtseva, Alexandra Sukhareva, Zaurbek Tsugaev, Where Dogs Run, Anton Zabrodin, and ZIP group.

Art in Action

Many artists are driven by the lived, sociopolitical realities that they experience. They make innovative use of public space, working with relevant themes and calling communities to action. This vector is divided into three sections that reflect the most pressing concerns of artists now: the street as a platform for change, social drawing, and feminist agendas.
The artists are: Chto Delat, Genda Fluid (Antonina Baever), Alexey Iorsh, Victoria Lomasko, Artem Loskutov, Nadenka creative association, Katrin Nenasheva, Anastasia Potemkina, Shvemy sewing cooperative, Urbanfeminism, and Alisa Yoffe.

Street Morphology

In places where there is limited institutional support and a lack of opportunities to create and show work, many artists turn to street art as a creative practice. In this habitat, there is an endless resource for artists to focus on urban issues such as the destruction of historic buildings and insensitive use of advertising within the cityscape.
The artists are: Kirill Lebedev (Kto), Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai, TOY, Udmurt, and ZLYE art group.

Local Histories of Art

Recognizing that the Triennial ultimately takes place in Moscow, in Gorky Park, in Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, which is contrary to many culturally- or site-specific ways of working across the country, this section adds a corrective to the broad and diverse visual display of practices in the capital city, by making space for an open-ended, discursive platform that expands both participation in and the perspectives of the exhibition.

Every two weeks, for the duration of the Triennial, artists, philosophers, curators, museum staff, and art historians from across the country expand on the art scene in Russia's disparate cities and regions through a series of events that include lectures, performances, actions, and music.
The participants are: Leyly Aslanova, Oksana Budulak, Guzel Faizrakhmanova, Artem Filatov,Tamara Galeyeva, Alexander Gorodniy, Sergey Gorshkov, Elena Kasimova, Natalia Matveeva, Marina Pugina, Ekaterina Sharova, Svetlana Shlyapnikova, Konstantin Skotnikov, Sergei Spirikhin, Aleksei Trubetskov, Olesya Turkina, Maria Udovydchenko, Anton Valkovsky, and Konstantin Zatsepin

In advance of the Triennial, Garage is developing a web-based directory of contemporary Russian artists and local art scenes. This website is the first iteration of a multi-phase project that will evolve into a comprehensive, nationwide resource (in both Russian and English) shedding light on the practices, interests, and concerns of artists from across Russia. The Triennial site is dynamic: it will continue to be updated with information about Russia’s art scene as the research continues in the coming years and for future Triennials.


Photo: Yakov Khrutsky

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