The 6th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art will take place in Moscow from June 8, 2018. The curator of the main project is Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, a young independent curator from Italy. The theme proposed for the 2018 biennial is “Abracadabra.”

Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, curator of the biennial’s main project:

In the last few decades, it has been theorised that the contemporary “economy of presence” dissolved the boundaries between the professional, private and social spheres of human activity. In more and more parts of the world, the traditional production of objects has been replaced with the trade of information and experiences, producing dystopic pleasure-based economies. Self-performance, authenticity and good vibes have become currencies of our time, and in our 24/7 workday it is increasingly unclear if we are performing on our own will or not. How can we claim the right of inhabiting our own time? What kind of autonomous agencies can we perform to resist burnout?

The word Abracadabra has ancient, opaque origins. It has been attributed magical powers since the deepest pagane antiquity, when reciting the incantation “Abracadabra!” meant the unleash of a process capable of transforming reality. Today, this performative word has accumulated a host of associations, partly through the appropriation of it by pop culture (the disco hit by the Steve Miller Band that so tore up the dance floor in the 1980s being of main relevance here). The term “Abracadabra” links together the growing interest of contemporary culture in esoteric, secret practices and in present-day forms of suggestion and disenchantment with the atmosphere of those unpredictable soirees that shapes the ecology of “the night out”. If our transhumanist crave for ubiquity makes the practice of strike as physical absence an unsuitable strategy of withdrawal, “Abracadabra” stands for narratives that produce an exuberant surplus energy to explore alternative ways of engaging with space and time.

The imaginary and transformative force of these minor, and sometimes hidden, narratives, forms the focus for the “Abracadabra” exhibition project, based on the historically charged subculture of the dance floor as a stage where new forms of being together are invented and unexpected knowledges can be embodied. That’s why we will place emphasis on time-based practices, video and interdisciplinary research, and we hope to find artists and performers whose work aims at activating space and landscapes through notions of performativity and agency.

OPEN CALL

Applications to participate in the biennial’s main project are accepted from artists of up to 35 years of age.

Curators of up to 35 years of age will be able to submit applications with their concepts for the biennial’s strategic projects that will take place at National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) and Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA).

Applications are accepted at www.youngart.ru from September 21 until November 20, 2017.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, which will be held for the sixth time in summer 2018, is one of the largest and most ambitious projects in the sphere of contemporary art in Russia. The biennial’s goals are to bring attention to new names, to support and encourage the creative initiatives of artists and curators of the new generation, to create the conditions for their public expression and, as a result, to develop the modern art community. Participants in the project are given the chance to establish connections and creative engagement with the professional artistic community. The biennial creates the space to present the latest strategies of a new generation of artists and curators.

The Moscow International Biennale for Young Art has been held since 2008. The foundation for the project was laid by the annual festival of young art “Qui Vive?,” run by the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) every year from 2002 to 2006 in collaboration with the Free Workshops modern art school at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). The project acquired a new status thanks to rising interest from young artists, curators and critics. Through the combined efforts of NCCA and MMOMA, a biennial for young art was developed.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti (Italy, 1990) is an independent curator based in Torino, where she co-founded the research-driven non-profit project CLOG. She graduated with a degree in visual arts and theater from the renowned Venetian university IUAV, attended the curatorial program CAMPO12 at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino, and pursued a curatorial internship at Artists Space in New York. She was recently a participant in the curatorial programme of De Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam.

Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti previously worked as artistic advisor for “Artissima” (Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea) and as assistant curator for “Tutttovero” by Francesco Bonami and “Shit and Die” by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini. She previously worked for TOILETPAPER Magazine and Le Dictateur, Milano. She writes for contemporary art journals and platforms, and founded the online projects “Curatorshit,” “shitndie” and “Ketchup Drool.” Her latest projects include “Why Is Everybody Being So Nice?” at De Appel, Amsterdam; “Good Luck, See You After the Revolution” at UvA, Amsterdam; and “Dear Betty: Run Fast, Bite Hard!” at GAMeC, Bergamo, winning project of Premio Bonaldi 2015-16.

ABOUT THE COMMISSIONER

Ekaterina Kibovskaya was born in Moscow and graduated from the journalism department of Moscow State University (graduate of the media culture and communications laboratory). She worked at Esquire magazine and, as an independent journalist, collaborated with cultural websites and publications Snob and Art+Auction, Russia. From 2007 to 2011, she worked as a manager in New York with a number of artists and gallery owners. As creative director in 2011-13 she took an active role in developing the framework for the modern development of Moscow’s Gorky Park and participated in various initiatives in the cultural sphere. In July 2015, Ekaterina Kibovskaya was named commissioner of the 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art and in November 2016 was reappointed for the 6th. In November 2016, she was also appointed head of special projects at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) as part of the ROSIZO exhibition space.

FOUNDERS AND ORGANIZERS OF THE BIENNIAL

The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Department of Culture, the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) as part of the ROSIZO exhibition space, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA).

ROSIZO state museum and exhibition centre was founded in 1959. Today ROSIZO is a diverse organization developing and presenting exhibition projects in partnership with some of the world’s most renowned museums and cultural institutions. The ROSIZO foundation has a collection of more than 40,000 art works. More detailed information about the centre and its collection can be found at the official site www.rosizo.ru. As of 2016, ROSIZO includes the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), the only cultural organization in Russia with a developed network of branches of fully fledged, self-sufficientcentres of modern art located in a number of key regions of Russia. Today there are ROSIZO-NCCA branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladikavkaz, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Tomsk. National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) was opened in 1994 and became the first federal exhibition, education and research organization whose activity is aimed at supporting, developing, promoting and popularizing contemporary art. NCCA presents new art, hosts major Russian and international exhibitions, educational projects, research and editorial projects, and performs informational, educational and museum work, including the development of its collection of contemporary art by Russian and foreign artists.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) was founded in 1999. It is the first state Russian museum that concentrates exclusively on the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Today the museum, with its five venues in the historic center of the city, plays a vital part in the Moscow art scene. The museum’s permanent collection represents major stages in the formation and development of the avant-garde, especially in Russia. One of the museum’s priorities is to promote young and emerging artists, by bringing them into the contemporary artistic process, and to create inclusive projects.