2018 will be a year of celebration at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. The institution will mark its 10th anniversary; the Museum building turns 50; and Gorky Park—where the Museum is located—commemorates its 90th year.
2018 is also the 30th anniversary of the first auction in Moscow, which became the most famous disruption of the local art scene in the Soviet era. The year opens with Bidding for Glasnost: Sotheby's 1988 Auction in Moscow, which explores the ramifications of introducing the art market to a communist society.
Spring exhibitions include The Other Transatlantic, an exhibition of Kinetic and Op Art (1950s–1970s), which presents more than forty artists from Eastern Europe and Latin America. To accompany the exhibition, Garage will publish the first translation to English of artist Viacheslav Koleichuk’s seminal 1994 book Kinetic Art, in a new, revised edition.
In addition to The Other Transatlantic the Garage Square Commission will be Atom, a reconstruction of a thirteen-meter-high kinetic work by Viacheslav Koleichuk, originally commissioned by the Institute of Nuclear Energy in 1967.
Reflecting on the Soviet experience of 1968, If our soup can could speak: Mikhail Lifshitz and the Soviet Sixties will unearth the vexed relations between progressive art and politics. Developed through a three-year Garage Field Research project into the scandalous 1968 publication of The Crisis of Ugliness by Soviet philosopher and art critic Mikhail Lifshitz, the exhibition will use archival material, artworks, and film to explore modernism’s social context and the contradictions of “art after art” as seen from behind the Iron Curtain. Published by Brill in the Historical Materialism series, the translation of aesthetic philosopher Mikhail Lifshitz’s 1968 anti-modernist polemic accompanies the exhibition. It is translated by David Riff, who conceived the exhibition, alongside artist Dmitry Gutov.
In the summer, the World Cup kicks off in Moscow in June and Juergen Teller will curate a show about football. The world-renowned artist and fashion photographer will look beyond the mechanics of the sport to shed new light on the people and obsessions that give football its inimitable charm. In the fall, Garage will present the first retrospective of Marcel Broodthaers in Russia. Developed specifically for the Museum, the exhibition will reveal how Broodthaers’ use of language and unique take on institutional critique led to a cult following among Russian artists.
Bringing leading international artists to Russia for the first time, in the spring Andro Wekua will make a new installation for the West Gallery; in the summer Tarek Atoui and Council will present Infinite Ear following a year-long research project with the representatives of the deaf community in Moscow; and in the fall Anri Sala and Damian Ortega will both develop new works for the Atrium and Garage Square respectively.
The Fabric of Felicity exhibition is the result of a thought experiment: what if we explore the use of clothes outside the context of fashion? Including both foreign and Russian artists, The Fabric of Felicity starts with the history of “prozodezhda” (industrial clothes), from the first experiments of avant-garde practitioners to the state of the design of the present day.
To celebrate being ten years young, Garage will honor the artists who have made the first decade one to remember. Throughout the year, projects will be integrated across all aspects of the Museum’s activities, starting with Urs Fischer, who transformed Garage’s logo. During the summer, the building will transform into a hub where past, present, and future imaginaries of culture are juxtaposed, with live performances and experimental installations. The Museum will also continue to expand its support for the development of Russian contemporary art in a global context by launching Garage Studios in summer 2018. Housed in a newly renovated building in VDNKh (the historic park of the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements) the initiative will provide eighteen studios, fully equipped workshops, residential areas, an auditorium, and spaces for public programs. The first large-scale project of its kind in Russia, it will provide facilities for both long- and short-term residencies by local, national, and international artists, writers, and curators.
In Garage Field Research, artists Lucy McKenzie and Markus Proscheck, with fashion designer Beca Lipscombe, will look specifically at fashion design, interior decoration, and museum display from the 1930s to the 1980s in Russia’s principal cities. The subject of their project Travertina is the applied arts in the Soviet Union, and the specific interplay between style, ideology, and value under communism that acted a significant counterpoint to Western design history.
The project Other East - Anthroposophy and Post-coloniality in Central Asia continues Alexey Ulko's research on Central Asia’s role in the development of the Anthroposophical movement in Russia and the USSR.
Daniel Muzyczuk continues his research in Russia examining alternative communities and underground music circles and their relationship with visual arts in Eastern Europe between 1968 and 1994.
Continuing her ongoing research into feminist visual and performance art across Russia, Cynthia Madansky’s research project is inspired by the Soviet director Esfir Shub, revered as one of the most important pioneers of the compilation film genre and the director of the Film Factory (kino fabrik).
Simon Njami’s research will take the Non-Aligned Movement and its fundamental cultural, economic, political, and humanitarian ideas as the starting point for the actualization of the debate around the need for new theories, tools, and language for a future society.
Among the new Garage Archive publications will be Agent in Love by Artist Viktor Pivovarov translated to English by Andrew Bromfield. This work is part memoir, part treatise, telling the story of Moscow’s unofficial art scene and referencing in its use of images the album genre for which he and fellow Moscow conceptualist Ilya Kabakov are so well known.
Written by architectural historians Anna Bronovitskaya and Nikolai Malinin, with images by architectural photographer Yuri Palmin, Moscow: Soviet Modernist Architecture 1955–1991 will be the first guide to the experimental architecture of the postwar period in the Soviet Union.
More activities and projects are yet to come for the anniversary year and more details will follow.
Garage 10th anniversary animation by Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
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