"CORPUS. Anatomical Theatre"


30.09 - 30.10.2016

Facebook Twitter pinterest google+

Program: [Contemporary art and contemporary society]

North-Western Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA)
St. Petersburg PRO ARTE Foundation for Culture and Arts
Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts
Supported by
Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation
Committee for Culture of St. Petersburg
Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation

In the program of the 2nd St Petersburg Biennale of Museum Design


30 September - 30 October 2016

"CORPUS. Anatomical Theatre"

Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts
Titian and Catherine Halls

Curator: Semyon Mikhailovsky with participation of Ivan Govorkov
Design: Jack Schlechter
Text: Alexander Borovsky

Opening of the St. Petersburg Biennale of Museum Design and exhibition Corpus. Anatomical Theatre - Friday, September 30th at 17:00

St. Petersburg, 17 Universitetskaya naberezhnaya

The concept of the exhibition Corpus.Anatomical Theatre is unmistakably relevant. It represents the state of the artistic process, when the vectors of experimental and traditional understandings of art coincide. Such situations are rare and usually fruitful. In due time, Yuri Tynyanov mentioned this idea in the title of his famous article about poetry, called hyphenated “archaist-innovators”. In this way he could re-actualize many genres hopelessly out of date (like poetic ode) and gave a new interpretation to the authors whose names seemed to be traditionally classical. The efficiency of the described case is obvious. It could be fully disclosed only if the curator manages to “seize” the point of interference, interosculation and overlays. Delay – and the extremely important occasion of the reflection of art process will be dissolved in a stream of constantly changing events. Organizers of this exhibition didn’t miss the right moment …
Alexander Borovsky

The exhibition Corpus. Anatomical Theatre is dedicated to anatomical drawing, the well-known subject for professional artists. Anatomical drawing – a graphic representation of bone and muscular systems of human body is the academic drawing basis, the part of the compulsory program of art education.

Anatomical drawings by students and teachers of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts since the 19th century till nowadays and their works based on anatomical drawing methods and technique are shown at the exhibition.

The original drawings by Gottfried Bammes from the collection of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden that have been playing an important role in education of many generations of artists are also exhibited. Albums from the collection of the Library of St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts will give an idea about the tradition of anatomical drawing in this traditional art school. Art works by Russian and foreign artists reflecting on human body and using contemporary media - video, installation, objects etc. comprise an essential part of the exhibit.

Thematically, the exhibition is divided into three parts. "Real body " – anatomic studies by artists, écorché, paintings. "Perfect body" – artistic searches for a physical ideal, and "Conceptual body" –contemporary artist’s interpretation of the problem, graphics by Damien Hirst, sculpture by Chapman Brothers, video by Daniel Spano and Masha Sha, holograms by Vladimir Kustov and more. Special part of the exhibition features Alexander Sakurov’s movie dedicated to the famous St. Petersburg scientist pathologist, Professor Oleg Khmelnitsky.

The exhibition design was created by Jack W. Schlechter, Park Family Director of Exhibition Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The task was a challenge – to accommodate a considerable amount of art objects in two halls of the Art Academy Museum – Titian and Catherine Halls – which themselves are already museum displays with sculpture and painting installed all over the place. Jack Schlechter came up with both simple and smart decision – he "dissected" a long narrow space of the Titian Hall by a diagonal line of exhibition stands which not only navigates visitors along a certain route, but also gives them a new sense of space and their own body in this space.

One of the basic ideas for the diagonal plan is to accentuate the grand size of the gallery while also breaking it into zones that are more sympathetic to the scale of the art. The diagonal also suggests direction for the movement of audience through the space. The circulation path gives the visitor one experience as they enter the exhibition and move through the gallery toward the round [Catherine] room, and a different experience as they return to the entrance.
I also hope that (with an exhibition that focuses on the body) the visitor experiences an awareness of their own body in space as they move from the wide end of the room to a more compressed space…
I like the idea of creating the feel of the anatomic theater in the round room. These kinds of things tend to be most successful in my mind, if they remain abstract references, rather than literal recreations.

Jack W. Schlechter

Exhibition Partners:
Repin St. Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (Academy of Fine Arts), Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden, State Russian Museum, Scientific Library of the Russian Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg State University, Triumph Gallery, Marina Gisich Gallery
Technical partner: Panasonic

Information: + 7 (812) 332 13 47, www.ncca.ru/en/main – North-Western Branch of the NCCA
+7 (812) 233 00 40, proarte.ru/en/ – PRO ARTE Foundation
St Petersburg Biennale of museum design: spbmuseumdesign.ru/en/


Venue: Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts
Titian and Catherine Halls

Address: St. Petersburg, 17 Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, Vasilievsky Island

How to get to the museum: Sportivnaya-2 metro station; trolleybuses 7 and 24 depart from the Admiralteyskaya metro station, buses – 7, 24

Museum Hours: Wednesday 12 am – 8 pm, Friday 1 pm – 9 pm, Thursday, Saturday–Sunday 11 am – 7 pm
Closed: Monday, Tuesday

Tickets: 500 rub.

Tel.: (812) 323 35 78







2a, Glinki st, St Petersburg.  © National centre for contemporary arts. Developement [artinfo]. [Andrey Velikanov]'s design