As Moscow gears up for the first ever Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, hosted by the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 10 international curators have been awarded the opportunity to visit the largest survey of contemporary Russian art practice ever conducted.
The travel grant winners are Riksa Afiatry (Indonesia), Celenk Bafra (Turkey), Lizaveta German (Ukraine), Jarrett Gregory (United States), Albert Heta (Kosovo), Li Qi (China), Joanna Sokolowska (Poland), Polly Staple (Great Britain), Chen Tamir (Israel), and Diana Ukhina (Kyrgyzstan).
The triennial announced its list of 63 participating artists, ranging from 19 to 69 years old, earlier this month, after a national search that canvassed the eleven time zones of what is geographically the largest country on earth. Exhibition organizers, led by Garage chief curator Kate Fowle, met with over 200 artists, many of whom are quite isolated from the mainstream art world, during the selection process.
In the absence of cultural infrastructure, according to the statement, “what unites the artists is resourcefulness and a powerful belief in art as a way of life.” All of the selected work was made after the controversial 2012 election that returned Vladimir Putin to power.
The resulting triennial is organized around seven thematic vectors which explore concepts such as art as activism, creating work inspired by a sense of place, and, conversely, imagining mythological worlds. The exhibition aims to bring exciting, relevant, previously unknown work into the public eye.
More than 130 curators from 44 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Philippines, Serbia, and Sweden, applied for the chance to win a four-day visit to the triennial. Applicants included curators from major institutions, nonprofits, and experimental spaces, as well as those who work independently.
The winning proposals were selected, according to a statement, based on “the promise they demonstrated in engaging with and continuing the dialogue initiated by the triennial.” By ensuring a selection of international curators who are able to engage with the latest developments in the country’s art scene, the Garage is advancing its own mission of promoting and supporting Russian contemporary art.
The Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art is on view at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Gorky Park, 9/32 Krymsky Val St. 119049, Moscow, March 10–May 14, 2017.
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