Garage Archive Collection is the world’s largest collection of documents, photo and video materials covering the history of Russian art from the 1950s till today.
In total, the collection contains more than 350,000 items, and is regularly replenished with acquisitions and donations from artists, collectors, gallery owners, and art historians. This round table features three active representatives of Moscow Conceptualism who have recently contributed to Garage Archive: curator and art critic Joseph Backstein, and artists George Kiesewalter and Igor Makarevich.
This discussion will focus on the problem of writing a history of Moscow Conceptualism as a movement. The speakers were the first in Russian art to appreciate the role of an archive as a tool of self-cognition in the artistic milieu, rather than mere storage of historical records. Collecting data about Moscow Conceptualism today allows Garage to develop a discursive attitude, outside traditional viewpoints. Will a new attitude destroy the existing vision of the movement, or, alternatively, is it going to unveil new historical nuances? What does an archive do by testing the past: does it recreate it or deconstruct it?
Moderated by Sasha Obukhova, Head of Garage Archive Collection
Participants: Joseph Backstein, George Kiesewalter, Igor Makarevich