Andy Freeberg "Guardians" (Kazan')
14.02 - 16.03.2014
National Center for Contemporary Arts, North-Western Branch and Volga region branch
The St Petersburg PRO ARTE Foundation
Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation
The St Petersburg Committee of Culture
February 14 - March 16, 2014
In the art museums of Russia, women sit in the galleries and guard the collections. When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over. In conversation they told me how much they like being among Russia’s great art. Many of them are retired professionals. I met a former economist, a dentist, an actress, an archivist. A woman in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery Museum said she often returns there on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, yet she’s happy and proud to be at the museum enjoying the people watching, surrounded by the history of her country.
California based photographer Andy Freeberg has long been fascinated with the gallery and museum worlds, often turning his camera on the dealers, gallery patrons, artists, museum guards, and their interplay with the works of art themselves. His project Guardians, about the women that guard the art in Russian museums, won Photolucida’s Critical Mass book award and was published in 2010. Freeberg’s work is in many public and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Portland Art Museum, the George Eastman House, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Guardians photo project became very popular in the World Wide Web. For the first time in Russia the photographs were shown in The State Museum of the History of St Petersburg in autumn 2013 within the 12th Festival "Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum".
Address: Centre for Contemporary Culture "Smena", Kazan'