In 2018, the former restaurant Vremena Goda—today home to Garage Museum of Contemporary Art—celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, and it is ninety years since Gorky Park opened to the public. To mark these important dates, throughout the summer visitors to Garage can take a trip back in time and experience the atmosphere of the hip Soviet destination within Gorky Park.
Part of the West Gallery will be restaged as an interpretation of the former Soviet café—famous for its view onto the giant Ferris wheel—and host a series of events exploring the idea of free time and the concept of leisure.
The establishment of Vremena Goda café as a new type of public catering at that time and in that location was not coincidental. The café captured the progressive mood of the 1960s generation and the wave of modernization that swept the domains of public food and leisure activities. It was deeply connected to its location: the first park in the country dedicated to recreation and culture, which, soon after opening in 1928, became the pride of proletarian Moscow and a place where millions of people per year would spend their free time.
The café hosted numerous events for the local community, from children’s matinees and chess tournaments to dance evenings and jazz concerts, which partly overlapped with the mission of the Soviet Houses of Culture. With the project “Did You Have a Good Time?” Garage not only aims to revive the atmosphere of the former café but also the variety of cultural interventions, re-examining our present-day understanding of leisure, especially in relation to culture and education. Through a series of lectures, round tables, games, theatrical and standup comedy performances, concerts, and themed evenings, visitors will be able to reflect on the leisure of the past, present, and future.
The project is organized by Garage curator Snejana Krasteva, Education head Ekaterina Vladimirtseva, and Public Programs manager Irina Sopina.
Exhibition design by GRACE, Milan