Open Systems. Self-Organized Art Initiatives in Russia: 2000Ц2015


24.03 - 10.05.2016

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Program: [Collaboration]



Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will present the exhibition in Ekaterinburg
for the first time

March 24 – May 10, 2016.
Open Systems. Self-Organized Art Initiatives in Russia: 2000–2015

On March 24 a project of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art exploring the Russian artistic underground of the 21st century is launched on the premises of the Ural Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA) at 19A Dobrolyubov Street. “Open Systems. Self-Organized Art Initiatives in Russia: 2000–2015” has just left the walls of the Garage Museum and is going on its first tour of the regions.

This is an original research-based project of non-official and non-commercial forms of interaction and collaborative exhibition initiatives of contemporary artists. Street festivals and apartment shows, exhibitions in factory workshops and underground crosswalks reflect an obvious tendency among the young artists to strive for autonomy and for activities free from both state-run and private institutions.

The Ural Branch of NCCA is a co-author of this project, just as much, as it is a hosting party. The research into the informal metropolitan art unions, initiated by the Garage Museum, will be continued in the analysis of local art projects. The theme of self-organized art initiatives is equally relevant for Ekaterinburg. Here such art centers as “Cultural Transit” Foundation and Sweater Gallery have quickly made their names, along with other even more professionally organized art initiatives, like SecondHand, “SCOT” Gallery and “ZH-B-I Gallery”. Information about local art communities, which has been collected in Urals by the research team in, will not only compliment the “Open Systems” Ekaterinburg exhibition of Garage Museum,—it will become its permanent structural part.

“Garage Museum is an absolute must go to place on the map of Moscow. Their keen interest in regional research has quite naturally brought the museum team to the Urals, where our curator’s expertise will become an integral part of this developing project”—commented on the upcoming project Alisa Prudnikova, Director of the Ural Branch of the NCCA. “The project will launch on March 24 and remain in Ekaterinburg till the beginning of May. An important element of this program, the way I see it, is that it’s a public program. We are expecting famous Moscow art experts to come to the Urals—their lectures will be of great value to anyone interested in the art process in our country. One of the invited speakers is Elena Petrovskaya, a philosopher, anthropologist, cultural researcher, author of The Anonymous Communities”.

Open Systems. Self-Organized Art Initiatives in Russia: 2000–2015

Since 2000, the self-organized art initiatives focused on the invention of independent non-commercial spaces and events have been on the rise. Inspired by the artists’ vision and directed by the protagonists, these street festivals and apartment shows, exhibitions in factory floors and underground crosswalks reflect how young artists aspire to gain autonomy in activities free from both state-run and private institutions.

The “Open Systems” project’s mission is to identify different styles of artistic self-organization, their stylistic features and regional specificity. In the heart of this project is the direct speech of the artists mastering the new forms of social communication within the “greater” art world, and of free cooperation opposing the institutional and commercial constraints.

Art communes and artistic workshops, artists' apartments and street assemblies – all these and many other variations of self-organized art communities have been divided into four groups, based on the place, where exhibitions, art actions and other initiatives took place. In the “Private Spaces” section of the project, a viewer can see artists, whose private apartments and workshops have been used as venues for solo and group exhibitions. An alienated territory of rented premises becomes the exhibition space for the “Other Places” section. When the organizers didn’t need the confined space, they explored parks, streets, cities and other open territories—including virtual ones. These initiatives are displayed in the “No Man’s Land” section. “Borderline Territories”, the final section of the exhibition, is not about spaces, but forms of interaction. It lists the examples of collaboration between artists, independent curators and activists.

Garage’s project continues at the Urals Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Ekaterinburg. The exhibition focuses on the Ural region, which helps to discover regional specifics as well as its peculiarities.

The experience of Open Systems participants—artists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, and other cities—shows both the uniqueness and the universality of every individual history. Together, the participants ask questions that challenge the conventions of the world as we know it, and the way we think about art.

ќткрытые системы. ќпыты самоорганизации в –оссии. 2000-2015 from Anton Elfilter on Vimeo.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a place, where people, art, and ideas come together to create history. Founded in 2008 by Daria Zhukova, Garage is the first philanthropic institution in Russia to establish a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art. Providing opportunities for dialogue, as well as the production of new works and ideas, the Museum’s extensive program of exhibitions, events, education, research, and publishing reflects current developments in Russian and international culture. Central to these activities is the Museum’s collection, which is the only public archive in the country focusing on the development of Russian contemporary art from the 1950s through the present.

Multigenerational artists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and other Russian cities have met to participate in the Open Systems project. Well-known projects dating from the beginning of 2000-like “France Galleries” or ESCAPE will be presented along with the more recent and well-established art initiatives, such as the Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art, Voronezh Center of Contemporary Art, Elektrozavod power station, “Cultural Transit” Foundation, Sweater Gallery, “A House of Dockers” (Perm), Kubiva Gallery (Nizhny Tagil), “SCOT” Gallery and “ZH-B-I Gallery”.
Tickets: 150 rubles; 100 rubles for students and senior citizens; free admission for children under 18, war veterans, disabled persons of the 1st and 2nd groups, members of the military and museums employees.

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