09.09 - 10.10.2010

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Program: [Ural factories Industries of meaning]

With the support of
The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
The National Center for Contemporary Arts (NCCA)
Governor's Office of the Sverdlovsk Region
The Sverdlovsk Regional Government
The Ekaterinburg City Administration
The Ekaterinburg Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts

Biennial Commissioner
Alisa Prudnikova

The New Art Regional Public Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art

Biennial Curators
Ekaterina Degot
Cosmin Costinas
David Riff

Biennial venues:
Main Project:
The “Uralsky Rabochy” Publishing House
Special Projects:
The Verkh-Isetsky Steel Works / VIZ-Stal'
The Sverdlovsk Wool Spinning Mill
The Former Building of the Non-Ferrous Metal Working Plant
The Center of Culture “Ordzhonikidzevsky”




Shockworkers of the Mobile Image

September 9 – October 10, 2010




Ekaterinburg, formerly Sverdlovsk, is the capital of the Soviet Union’s industrial heartland, the Urals. When the USSR collapsed, the city's many heavy industries fell prey to economic malaise. But today, Ekaterinburg has become one of the hubs of Russia's resource economy, a site of accumulation following an era of shock privatization, a place where people dream with the BRICs and awaken to the harsh realities of economic crisis. How should we understand all this new investor architecture, empty as of yet, all these new service industries, all that new imaginary "symbolic capital" produced by "creative professionals" and their underlings? What role does and can contemporary art play in such a place, when it comes to the half-operational spaces of Soviet industry? Can it be more than a fast-moving consumer commodity, a medium for gentrification, a plaything of the superrich?


The biennial's title is “Shockworkers of the Mobile Image,” and its main venue is the Ural Worker Printing Press, a constructivist building in the center of Ekaterinburg. Built in 1929-1930, this space prompts a dialogue with the most contradictory period of Soviet history, the time of rapid industrialization, the time that gave rise to shockworkers and Stakhanovites. Their superproductive contribution to socialist construction was supposedly voluntary, heroic, based on enthusiasm and affect, but overseen by a growing security apparatus. Foreign experts and internationalists participated, reproducing and implanting mobile images of Fordist modernity. Their engagement was genuine, but remained blind to the harsh reality of intensifying exploitation. In many ways, Russia's transition to global post-Fordist capitalism is no less drastic, and today's global artists, filmmakers, and architects are shockworkers, too, and internationalists, no doubt, capable of an affective solidarity much like that of the pre-fascist 1930s. They come to distant cities, working nights to build temporary factories that reproduce images, affects, and social relations. In Ekaterinburg, this temporary factory comes to a context where the Soviet economy of free time and amateur creativity is still strong. Is there is anything about “Soviet creativity” that resists the endless workday of post-Fordism? Or it yet another resource of Russian resource capitalism?

The biennial’s main project “Shockworkers of the Mobile Image,” is curated by Cosmin Costinas (Amsterdam/Utrecht), Ekaterina Degot (Moscow), and David Riff (Moscow/Berlin). The curators have opted for a thematic exhibition with a wealth of historical material. The show draws together 59 artworks of 54 artists and groups in a dense narrative that unfolds around the themes of “Shockworkers,” “The Circulation of Images,” “Building Capitalism,” and “The Economy of Free Time,” among others. The biennial features a large number of new works made especially for Ekaterinburg. Aside from works by contemporary artists from Hungary, Germany, Israel, India, China, Lebanon, Lithuania, Peru, Russia, Romania, the USA, Thailand, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Croatia, and other countries, the exhibition includes work by artists of the avant-garde and the epoch of cultural revolution in the USSR, Europe and the countries of Latin America (Tarsila do Amaral, Joris Ivens, Amshei Nuerenberg, Mikhail Okhitovich), underlining the role of Soviet film and architecture as one of the roots of international contemporary art. These works are complemented by special programs of documentary film from the Urals (curated by Lilia Nemchenko, Ekaterinburg) and from Hungary (curated by Livia Paldi, Budapest).
Artists: Yuri Albert, Tarsila do Amaral, Pablo Baen Santos, Yael Bartana, Bela Balazs Studio, Guy Ben-Ner, Blue Noses, Christian von Börries, Serguej Bratkov, Alex Buldakov, Cao Fei, Olga Chernysheva, Chto Delat, Evgenia Demina, Jimmie Durham, Harun Farocki, Daniel Faust, M.M. Fontenelle, Joris Ivens, Christian Jankowsky, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Nikita Kadan & Alexander Burlaka, Kolumne Links, Naroa Lizar, Roman Minin, Andrei Monastyrski, Rabih Mroue, Ciprian Muresan, Deimantas Narkevicius, Amshei Nuerenberg, Johannes Paul Raether, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Andreas Siekmann & Alice Creisher & Max Jorge Hinderer, Sean Snyder, Praneet Soi, Hito Steyerl, Mladen Stilinovic, Taller E.P.S. Huayco, Avdey Ter-Oganyan, David Ter-Oganyan, Florin Tudor & Mona Vatamanu, V.M.Volovich, Lin Yilin, Vadim Zakharov, among others.

The biennial’s program of special projects is curated by Alisa Prudnikova. These site-specific projects are placed in some of Ekaterinburg’s largest operating industrial plants, engaging the space of over 40,000 m2. Artists from Ekaterinburg and elsewhere in Russia as well as from Great Britain, Spain, Mexico, the USA, France, Finland, and Sweden turn these production sites into a heterogeneous territory for experiments with the industrial environment. Factory spaces themselves become objects of artistic interventions that pursue a diversity of aims, be they critical, poetic, or social. By placing contemporary art into a working industrial environment, into the immediate vicinity of workers and production lines, the biennial’s special projects program probes the possibilities for interaction between industry and contemporary art, material and symbolic production, creative and mechanical labor, physical and semiotic consumption.
The main goal of special projects is to change the public perception of industry, to bring plants and factories back to the quotidian urban context. Their mammoth gray spots on the map of the city are easily accessible to the electronic eye of Google Maps, but are hidden from the casual citizen’s eye behind their fences and are quite formless in his/her imagination. For today’s citizen of Ekaterinburg industrial enterprises have dissolved into toponyms that mark landscapes that had formed around the factories, but lost their meaningful core when industry disappeared from the topical cultural context.
The “invisibility” of the industrial facilities that are still the basis of the regional economy is paradoxical: it is not the inevitable de-topicalization of history—it is the absence of one’s own reflection in the mirror. Contemporary art, capable of reconsidering the relation of material and symbolic production, creative and mechanical labor, physical and semiotic consumption, not only finds this paradoxical context bountiful in material—it also changes that context, thereby playing an important role in the reformatting of the cultural space of the Urals and the optics it dictates.
Artists: Tatiana Akhmetgalieva, Gustavo Artigas, Tatyana Badanina, Irina Danilova, Viktor Davydov, Alexey Dyomin, Vladislav Efimov, Gleb Ershov, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Alisa Ioffe, Olga Jurgenson, Olga Kisseleva, Anastasia Khoroshilova, Gleb Kosorukov, Sergey Leontyev, Pia Lindman, Tania Mouraud, «Mylo» group, Vladimir Nasedkin, Georgy Stephanov, Kirill Asse, Anna Ratafieva, Katya Pugach, Silvan Reynal, Stanislav Savitsky, Stefan Shankland, Vladimir Seleznev, Ivan Snigirev, Vladislav Tarik, Leonid Tishkov, Evgeny Umansky, Yury Vassiliev, Gennady Vlasov, «Where the dogs run».

On the occasion of the opening of the biennial an international symposium dedicated to discussion of the industrial past and the post-industrial present from philosophical, sociological, and artistic points of view was held on September 9-11, 2010. The participants included Evgeny Alekseev, Christian von Borries, Guy Ben Ner, Svetlana Bykova, Keti Chukhrov, Diedrich Diederichsen, Sergey Kropotov, Tatiana Kruglova, Maria Litovskaya, Aleksey Penzin, Sergey Postnikov, Georg Schoellhammer, Andrey Shcherbenok, Andreas Siekman, Praneet Soi, Joanna Sokolowska, Aneta Szylak, Lyudmila Tokmeninova, Astrid Wege.
On the occasion of the opening, the biennial will also publish a catalogue in two volumes, one of them dedicated to the main venue, the other to the special projects program.
The biennial also features a parallel program of events and thematic exhibitions at 20 museums, galleries, and a library in Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, and Nev’yansk. It runs from September to November 2010. The biennials of 2012 and 2014 will take place in working industrial enterprises in the historical industrial centers of the Ural region.



Profile Media Partners
“ArtChronika” Magazine
“Art-Guide” Magazine
“Tatlin” Magazine

Federal Media Partners
“Russky Reporter” Magazine
Look at me

Strategic Media Partners
TV Company “Channel 4”
Internet portal “”
Radio Station “Ekho Moskvy, Ekaterinburg”
“Expert-Ural” Magazine Official Media Partners
Information Agency “API”
“Uralsky Rabochy” newspaper
“Vecherny Ekaterinburg” newspaper
Channel “Oblastnoe TV”
“Oblastnaya Gazeta” newspaper

Media Partners
Channel “Ermak”
“Business&Zhizn” magazine
“Ekavery” magazine
“Free Time” magazine
“TechSovet” magazine
“” portal

General Sponsor

Advertising group “Centrus”
“Mercator” company

Official Hotel
“Moskovskaya gorka”

Technical Sponsor

Technical Support

Biennial Club

Catalogue Sponsor
Yermak Managing Company (Perm)
“New Collections,” The Cultural Projects Support Foundation (Perm)

1. The “Uralsky Rabochy” House of Print (Lenina st., 49)
Tue.-Sun. 11.00-21.00, Mon. – closed
2. The Verkh-Isetsky Steel Works / VIZ-Stal (Kirova st., 28)
Tue.-Sun. 20.00-23.00, Mon. – closed
3. The Ural Heavy Machinery Plant (Uralmash) (1st Pyatiletka square)
Tue.-Fri. 14.00-19.00, Sat.-Sun. 12.00-19.00, Mon. – closed
4. The Sverdlovsk Worsted Factory (Novinskaya st., 2)
Tue.-Sun. 12.00-19.00, Mon. – closed
5. The Center of Culture “Ordzhonikidzevsky” (Culture Blvd, 3)
Tue.-Sun. 12.00-19.00, Mon. – closed
6. Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts (Vainera, 11)
Tue., Fr., Sat., Sun., 11.00-19.00
Wed., Thur. 11.00-20.00

• Biennial ticket (The “Uralsky Rabochy” House of Print, The Verkh-Isetsky Steel Works / VIZ-Stal, The Ural Heavy Machinery Plant (Uralmash), The Sverdlovsk Worsted Factory) – 300 rub.
• One time visit – 100 rub.
• The Center of Culture “Ordzhonikidzevsky” – free
• Admission to the Parallel Program venues – not included


CALL-CENTRE :+7 982 606 8 222




Attached data:
It will become the key preparatory part of the first Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art that will be held in Ekaterinburg September 9 October 10, 2010. An international contemporary art event of a magnitude and scale unmatched in the region, the Biennale will be a platform to integrate business and artistic elites, which is decisive in the development of creative industries in the one of Russias most thriving areas. The conference will become an independent intellectual ground for the discussion of industrial centers not only as the places of production, but as special cultural landscapes that generate meanings and values.


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