Garage 3rd International Conference. Where is the Line Between Us?: Cautionary tales from now


From 21 March 2015


Garage Education Center


Where is the Line Between Us?: Cautionary Tales From Now brings together practitioners and thinkers from the fields of art, history, and sociology to explore new models of cultural production and historicization that have been shaped by the unique characteristics of the region.

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Grammar of Freedom / Five Lessons: Works from the Arteast 2000+ Collection, the conference is the first in Russia to take as its starting point common urgencies shared by artists from Eastern Europe and Russia.

The title is a reference to a series of photographs of 1980 by Komar & Melamid wherein the duo collaborated with American artist Douglas Davis on a series of photographs that commented on the political divide between the East and West during the Cold War. Standing on opposite sides of a thick vertical line, the artists hold plaques with provocative questions that ask what the line is for, until the last image, when they finally reach towards one another and move through the barrier.

Examining the legacy of such a divide in relation to current polarizing politics, the conference will convene three sessions that each explore evolving positions toward the East/West axis in a post-socialist world. Through lectures and panel discussions, speakers will revisit select regional histories since 1989 to suggest how our understanding of past situations can change and develop through the perspectives offered by present circumstances, and vice versa. Acknowledging the renewed need for retrospection as a progressive tool to look to the future, the day-long event will address the “revisionist” approach to making history while opening up the opportunity for fresh engagement with underrepresented worldviews and their transformative potential in current cultural conditions.

Concept: Kate Fowle, Zdenka Badovinac
Organized by: Snejana Krasteva, Ekaterina Inozemtseva
Project managers: Elena Melkumova, Maria Sarycheva
Coordinator: Brittany Stewart

Conference program can be downloaded here


Nailya Allakhverdieva, curator, art director at the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (PERMM); Zdenka Badovinac, director of Moderna galerija in Ljubljana, co-curator of Grammar of Freedom / Five Lessons in Garage; Ilya Budraitskis, historian, curator and activist in Moscow; Eda Čufer, dramaturge, curator, and writer, adjunct assistant Professor at Maine College of Art, Portland;  Andrey Egorov, art historian, curator, head of research department at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art; Kate Fowle, chief curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow; Anthony Gardner, associate professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Oxford;  Boris Groys, philosopher and cultural theoretician, global distinguished professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University; Ekaterina Inozemtseva, curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow; Snejana Krasteva, curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, co-curator of Grammar of Freedom / Five Lessons in Garage; Taus Makhacheva, an artist, lives and works in Makhachkala and Moscow; Viktor Misiano, independent curator and chief editor Khudozhestvenny zhurnal (Moscow Art Magazine)Rástko Móčnik, sociologist, literary theorist, professor of Sociology at the University of Ljubljana; Alisa Prudnikova, curator, art historian, art manager, director of the Ural Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts; Arseny Zhilyaev, artist, lives and works in Moscow and Voronezh.


Saturday 21 March, 2015


Guests arrive 

12:00 – 12:10

Introduction by Garage director, Anton Belov and Garage chief curator Kate Fowle



Post what?

Moderator: Ekaterina Inozemtzeva

12:10 – 12:15

Session intro by Ekaterina Inozemtzeva

12:15 – 12:35

Boris Groys, Difference between Western postmodernism and Eastern post socialism

12:40 – 13:00

Anthony Gardner, Towards an Aesthetic Politics of Postsocialism

13:00 – 13:20


13:20 – 13:40

Arseny Zhilyaev, Radio “October”. A talk

13:45 – 14:05

Rástko Móčnik, No past without future however is there a present?

14:10 – 14:20


14:20 – 15:00




Collections as a tool for new institutional strategies

Moderator: Kate Fowle

15:00 – 15:10

Session intro by Kate Fowle

15:10 – 16:10

Panel discussion with Nailya Allakhverdieva, Zdenka Badovinac, Andrey Egorov, Alisa Prudnikova

16:10 – 16:40


16:40 – 17:30




Artistic strategies in times of conflict

Moderator: Snejana Krasteva

17:30 – 17:35

Session intro by Snejana Krasteva

17:35 – 17:55

Viktor Misiano, Love your trauma as you love yourself

18:00 – 18:20

Eda Čufer, Deconstructing genocide —  Marko Peljhan’s “Territory” (1995-2009)

18:25 – 18:45


18:50 – 19:10

Ilya Budraitskis, The power of the powerless: artistic strategies in times of war strategies

19:15 – 19:25


19:30 – 19:50

Taus Makhacheva, Longing for a Superhero: dreaming about a hero and longing for Super in the paradigm of contemporary art 


Admission is free, but advance registration required.
The conference will be in Russian and in English with simultaneous translation. ID is required for hire of the equipment. 


Here we’ve put together materials to help you get ready for a visit to the Museum or to take a deep dive into the current programs at Garage.