What to look at the 7th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

The Seventh Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art kicks off on September 19th: on this day in the New Tretyakov Gallery the main project, “Cloudless Forests”, with the participation of Bjork and her ex-husband Matthew Barney, opens, and exhibitions of the parallel program, as usual, will be scattered throughout the city.

This year the Biennale underwent a number of important changes: firstly, for the first time in its history, it will last four months - until January 18, 2018. Secondly, the team changed: its founder Joseph Bakshtein left the post of commissar, who in 2005 invented the Moscow Biennale together with curator Viktor Misiano. Now the ball is ruled by an expert council, which included museum directors, curators and other cultural functionaries, by the will of whom the project founder also changed - the Biennale of Contemporary Art foundation was specially created to launch the current biennale. Life around has selected ten exhibitions of the 7th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, which are strictly forbidden.

Main project

On the photo: "Sky-high forests"

"Cloudy Forests"

The previous Moscow Biennale, which was supervised by Bart de Bare, Defne Ayas and Nikolaus Schaffhausen, was held at VDNH. It was a kind of response to the urgent crisis of the format: instead of a spreading three-story exhibition, which, as a rule, is presented by biennial projects, curators under the melancholic slogan "How to live together?" launched a continuous process of successive lectures, discussions and round tables. To their accompaniment, the artists created their work in front of the audience, but, alas, the organizers lost. Putting the principle of work in progress at the forefront, the curatorial team at the exit received a biennale that no longer resembled an image project designed to legitimize contemporary art in the eyes of Russian cultural officials, and at the same time shy of its mass audience - it worked exactly the opposite.

Yuko Hasegawa, director of the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art and curator of the current biennale, immediately promised to do without experimenting with form and presented a completely traditional exhibition. By the way, thanks to her, another innovation entered the history of the Moscow Biennale: for the first time, Hasegawa selected the works of Russian participants in the main project through an open competition, for which anyone could send an application. Having convened a "creative tribe of artists", she proposed a poetic - and open to almost any interpretation - theme "Cloudless Forests", from which a study grew about the impact of new technologies on society and nature.

The project brought together the work of 52 artists from 25 countries. Among them, there are obvious superstars like Matthew Barney, who will bring to Moscow a series of “Space Hunt” specially created for the Biennale, his ex-wife Icelandic singer Björk and Olafur Eliasson with the light installation “Space resonates from our presence”. Russian artists are represented in the range from the already stellar duo Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubosarsky to such young authors as Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov and Mikhail Tolmachev. All of them will try to comprehend the world as a whole ecosystem, in which technology, art and media make up a single organism. Whether it will be viable, we learn in the New Tretyakov Gallery, where the biennale, by the way, also entered for the first time, apparently in order to raise the status of the event.

Where: New Tretyakov Gallery

When: from September 19 to January 18, 2018

Parallel program

On the photo: "Sky-high forests"

"Biomuz Collection / Our birches, your birches"

At the Biological Museum, a group of Swedish and Russian artists decided to transcode the environmental vector of the main project into a national way and explore how the national culture can appropriate, for example, birch - a tree that grows almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere. The project "Our birches, your birches" is a few videos that will be played in different halls of the museum among natural science collections. Among them is a film about garden flowers, which, from a certain angle, look like exotic booths, a ballet of shadows on the seashore and a study of the flora and fauna of an ancient European park.

Where: State Biological Museum named after K. A. Timiryazev

When: from September 19 to November 5, 2017

"Prospect of the Unconquered"

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art continues to explore St. Petersburg art on Moscow land: starting with retrospective exhibitions of such idols as Vladislav Mamyshev-Monro and Timur Novikov, he continues this line with the Prospect of the Unconquered. The studio "Unconquered" was founded ten years ago by graduates of the Stieglitz Academy and was considered one of the few enclaves of modern art on the art map of St. Petersburg. However, to date, Irina Drozd, Ivan Plyushch, Ilya Gaponov, Tatyana Akhmetgalieva have long become familiar both in Moscow and at the international biennale, and, frankly, they have ceased to be associated with the local context from which they started. Nonetheless, “Unconquered” remain a community that requires serious reflection - both together and separately.

Where: MMOMA on Gogolevsky Boulevard

When: from September 9 to November 12, 2017

Recycle Group. Template of life

(cycle "Farewell to eternal youth")

The Recycle Group project (Andrey Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov) fits in perfectly with the concept of Yuko Hasegawa. The Template of Life installation is a special capsule that should convey to the viewer the sensations of the computer at the moment of disconnection from the network by means of visual and sound effects, thus balancing the person and the car at the level of feelings. For Recycle, as well as for other participants in the Farewell to Eternal Youth exhibition series, this exhibition is a kind of outcome, although in reality it only continues the line of research they have outlined in the world in which a person ceased to be the crown of creation, giving way to another creature - new technologies . The Winzavod’s attempt to comprehend the cult of youth began with the project of the painter Yegor Koshelev, which was continued by the exhibitions of Yevgeny Granilshchikov, Arseniy Zhilyaev, the spare parts group and other artists - only 12 projects.

Where: Winery, Red Shop

When: from September 20 to October 22, 2017

Irina Nakhova. "Battle of the disabled"

Irina Nakhova is considered the inventor of "total installations", ahead of Ilya Kabakov with his spaces of a communal person. At the same time, she is one of the few representatives of that generation who managed to recode the conceptual practices of the 70s in a new way. The interactive installation “Battle of the Disabled” only vaguely resembles its famous “Rooms” - special spaces that the artist constructed at home, thus becoming the creator and tenant of her works. This time, she turned the gallery space into a battlefield, on which the West clashed with the East, and replicas of a Japanese warrior - with the speech of an ancient Greek athlete. However, she is interested not so much in the clash of two great civilizations, but how classical art interacts with modernity - especially with the modern audience.

Where: Pop / off / art gallery

When: from September 13 to October 15, 2017

On the photo: Keiichi Tanaami. "Country of Mirrors"

"Behind Moscow. Landscape, still life, portrait in the work of Moscow artists"

A portrait of Moscow of the 20th century, composed of several dozen fragments, is represented by the In Artibus fund: more than 50 works by Moscow artists - from Aristarchus Lentulov and Robert Falk to Mikhail Roginsky and Vladimir Weisberg - create their own image of the capital through which the phenomenon of the Moscow school of painting is conceptualized here. Life, characters and a whole bunch of cultural layers associated with Moscow leaving or already gone forever. The list of Muscovite artists is truly impressive: Ilya Mashkov and Pyotr Konchalovsky, Aristarkh Lentulov and Robert Falk, Anatoly Zverev and Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, Mikhail Roginsky and Boris Kasatkin.

Where: In artibus foundation

When: from August 30 to September 30, 2017

"Orgy of things"

In the framework of the project of Vladimir Logutov and Ilya Samorukov, things, according to the will of the French philosopher Bruno Latour, will finally be repulsed: together with a group of artists (among them Igor Samolet, Ivan Gorshkov, Anastasia Kizilova, Roman Minaev and Alec Petuk), the curators explore the links between objects and their ability to be or pretend to be art. However, if Latur dreamed of a “parliament of things” in which each object has its own value, status and place in the hierarchy, then Logutov and Samorukov promise to arrange a real orgy that liberates things from its original purpose and from the need to be art.

Where: Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin

When: from September 19 to October 1, 2017

Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov. "Instinct of conservation"

Another singer of posthumanism - Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, an artist and genetic biologist by education - created a laboratory museum in which a variety of skeletons, test tubes, diagrams and drawings form a treasury that the world could own after a person disappeared. Organic nature here merged with inorganic matter, and animals and plants mutated in such a way that no science-fiction writer could even dream of. This would be what the Kunstkamera of the future might look like if there was anyone to support it. Approving scientific methods of describing the world for artistic purposes, Fedotov-Fedorov, in fact, shows that any knowledge that we possess today is just a construct that we created to simplify communication.

Where: Fragment gallery

When: from September 5 to October 20, 2017

Keiichi Tanaami. "Country of Mirrors"

Keiichi Tanaami is one of the leaders of Japanese pop art, who managed to melt childhood memories of the war and occupation into a bizarre hybrid of manga, classic Japanese engraving, magazine illustration and advertising. Having met with Andy Warhol, Tanaami, who was shooting experimental animated films at that time, borrowed his strategy and very quickly became one of the leading pop artists in Japan. He painted anti-war posters, covers for music albums and erotic paintings with the participation of Hollywood actresses, and at some point he even became the artistic director of the Japanese version of Playboy. At the exhibition in Moscow will come his new paintings, sculpture and video art.

Where: Gary Tatintsian Gallery

When: from September 28 to November 18, 2017

Chaim Falcon. "Paper memory"

Memory is perhaps the only matter that the artist Chaim Sokol deals with. He mined it, mating broken toys, newspaper clippings and other rubbish, which remained out of the story - personal and collective. For him, migrants, to whom the Falcon devoted his socially charged projects, became the same “rubbish” rejected by modern society. This time he turned to the history of the space in which many of his iconic exhibitions took place - the Factory archive - and created a series of graphic works devoted to paper, which was produced here before the transformation of space into an art cluster.

Where: CIT "Factory"

When: from October 25 to November 30, 2017

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