Questions for the TRANSCITY of EKATERINBURG

exhibition

15.05.2010, 19:00-23:00 Saturday

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Program: [Artist-in-residence]

Place: NCCA fiel

Coordinator: [Svetlana Usoltseva]

Participants: [Erik Gongrich ], [Stefan Shankland ]

Partners: Consulate General of Germany in Yekaterinburg, Consulate General of France in Yekaterinburg, Alliance française dIekaterinbourg

An interactive art research “Questions for the TRANSCITY of EKATERINBURG” by Erik Gongrich and Stefan Shankland within the international action “Museum Night – 2010”.

 

In 2007 the Ekaterinburg branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts (Eb NCCA) initiated the first “Museum Night” in Ekaterinburg and today, as a result, presents its project within this event already for the fourth time. Every year Eb NCCA chooses for participation projects which reflect in various ways public spaces and environments. In 2010 it was an interactive art research project “Questions for the TRANSCITY of EKATERINBURG” by Erik Gongrich (Berlin) and Stefan Shankland (Paris), supported by Ural State Gorky University.


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For one week (April 29 – May 6) the artists led by a group of students were researching inofficial Ekaterinburg urban space. During this tour about 6.000 photos were made, a hundred of which were presented in a final project.

On May 15th a kaleidoscope of urban sketches, reflecting Ekaterinburg in development were presented for the public during the Museum Night. The interactive compilation of an alternative cultural map of the area is expected to become a non-tourist guide for familiar and at the same time unexplored places.
Massive video-installation will present the city from various points of view, based on different mentalities and different experiences of interaction with an urban environment. Every visitor gets the opportunity to accomplish his/her own virtual stroll around Ekaterinburg that nowadays finds its place among European centers of creative research of self inner and outer spaces.

The project “Questions for the TRANSCITY of EKATERINBURG” aims to depict a solid image of Ekaterinburg, shaped by not only official, but also alternative sights, emotions and events. Habitual and therefore seeming ordinary residential areas, factories, kindergartens, walls and fences covered with drawings, barrens shot by artists and participants of the project got filled with an alternative meaning, discovered their new side and became an art piece.

Stefan Shankland
His works are based on a multifaceted study that seeks to reveals the “sculptural and cultural dimension” of a given contexts. Drawing in sculptural, graphic, cinematographic or architectural techniques, Shankland produces “integrated art works” often as a result of a participative process making use of local resources and skills. His recent artworks are related to the nuclear industry in France, large-scale urban development programs in the Paris Metropole or the conservation of the northwest European coastline.
“Our main goal was to understand the city, to create a particular space out of it. During 6 days spent here we performed at the same time as tourists, researchers and teachers. We did let Ekaterinburg to impress us and were just fixing the experience: with photos and the diary. We worked with the city using a special “sculptural” approach: we had let it change us in order for us to change it in return. The features of urban sculptural space are revealed on the photos”.

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Erik Göngrich
Trained as an architect before developing an art practice based on the exploration of old and new metropolis’, archetypal modernist cities such as Brasilia or Chandigar, or the more anarchic contemporary megapols in China or the Americas. Göngrich takes photographs, conducts interviews, draws maps and designs buildings - elements he then reemploys in his shows, publications and large-scale sculptures.
“Ekaterinburg had amazed us by its history, concentration of historical and cultural layers. For the project we had to visit factories and industrial areas of the city to see it from within. These places are very important as history is still alive inside them. We only need to decide, what to do with that history, how to interpret it?”

 

In September 2010 the final version of the project will be presented at the first Ural Industrial International Biennale of Contemporary Art, which will take place is Ekaterinburg on September 9 – October 10.
 

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