In summer 2017, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will be presenting its exhibition and public programs at the International Specialized Exhibition Astana EXPO–2017.
This year, the world’s biggest international exhibition showcasing the achievements of nations is taking place in Kazakhstan. Garage’s program is an important part of the show, featuring over a thousand projects from about a hundred participating countries. Garage’s space on the ground floor of the Astana Contemporary Art Center Pavilion includes an exhibition space, an open library with books on contemporary art, architecture and design, a family workshops zone, and an auditorium.
‘Taking part in international and regional projects is part of Garage’s long-term development strategy and we could not miss an international event as important as the EXPO. This year’s theme is Future Energy and that’s the kind of energy we produce at Garage every day—we are delighted to be able to share it with our visitors in Astana,’ says Garage’s director Anton Belov.
The second floor of Astana Contemporary Art Center Pavilion is taken by the exposition of the National Museums of France Association that includes Grand Palais in Paris. Along with Garage’s space, daily tours of Astana Contemporary Art Center Pavilion include a visit to the exhibition Artists & Robots organized by the National Museums of France and Grand Palais. On 22–23 July, 2017, the Astana Contemporary Art Center Pavilion will host an international conference on Kazakhstan’s modernist architecture. Experts from Kazakhstan, Russia, Europe, and America will discuss general questions relating to the postwar modernism as well as the preservation of heritage buildings in Almaty. The conference is part of a major research program conducted by the Institute of Modernism and devoted to modernist architecture initiated by Garage. Over the course of a year, historians Anna Bronovitskaya and Nikolay Malinin, supported by architects from Archcode Almaty, looked for and studied modernist buildings in the city. Their presentation of the project will be complemented with Soviet Modernist Architecture:Almaty exhibition of photographs of modernist buildings by Yury Palmin. Preserved, destroyed or reconstructed, residential and administrative buildings in the photos show what Kazakhstan’s former capital looks like today. The exhibition of photographs documenting the legacy of Soviet modernism will be on at Garage pavilion from June 10 to September 10. The research project will finish with the release of the second volume of the guidebook on modernist architecture as part of Garage’s publishing program for 2018. Visitors of the first floor will also see Utopian Skeleton installation by ZIP group.
The program for Astana Contemporary Art Center Pavilion auditorium includes lectures and discussions devoted to the art market, contemporary curating, and publishing, as well as over three hundred screenings united in three film programs. The first one—Art in the Twenty-First Century—is a famous PBS series of documentaries on the key artists of the second half on the twentieth century and early twenty-first century. The second program features Nina Zaretskaya’s films on the Russian art scene from Garage Archive Collection, including documentaries on Semyon Faybisovich, Erik Bulatov, and Eduard Steinberg among other artists. The third program features selected works by Kazakhstani video artists screened in English or Russian language with subtitles. A library with a selection of books on contemporary art is open to all visitors throughout the exhibition. There, visitors can find recent books on the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by some of the leading international publishers, as well as sources on photography, architecture and design in Russian and in English.
Sign language tours are available for deaf and hard of hearing visitors. Visitors with developmental disabilities and learning difficulties are offered extra learning materials and visual aids encouraging them to be active during the tour. Tours for blind and partially sighted visitors include audio description of works and the use of tactile models.
As part of its preparation for the EXPO, Garage organized a survey of leisure and cultural activities accessible for people with various disabilities in Kazakhstan. The survey carried out by Garage’s Department of Inclusive Programs has allowed it to build connections with charities and specialized institutions in Kazakhstan and initiate a dialogue on access to culture for the disabled in Almaty and Astana. This project will result in a series of seminars for the staff of cultural institutions designed to help them develop and promote programs for visitors with disabilities, based on an analysis of attitudes towards disability in the former Soviet countries.
All projects and events of Garage’s program at EXPO–2017 will be accessible for visitors with disabilities.