The Manege Central Exhibition Hall and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are proud to present a new exhibition in St Petersburg, Russia. Entitled NEMOSKVA IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, the exhibition is the third in a series of events by NEMOSKVA (lit.“Not Moscow”) – an interregional initiative which aims to foster collaboration in modern art. It is being held with the support of the St Petersburg Committee for Culture and the Potanin Foundation (the exhibition’s strategic partner), with Sibur as partner.
«NEMOSKVA began with an initiative to study Russian art in cities lying along the Trans-Siberian Railway. A number of international experts had the chance to find out what made each region unique. This was followed by a curatorial report by Inke Arns and Dieter Roelstraete in Brussels. This next stage of the project will give curators from the regions the chance to not so much ‘take responsibility for their patch of land’, but to express an overarching view about what contemporary art in Russia is about. On the one hand, the theme of the exhibition underscores the notion that the development of contemporary art in Russia is often characterised through what it lacks, rather than what it possesses. We have already made it past this stage. The exhibition underscores the productiveness that comes from a state of interminable waiting, which, in view of the pandemic, is essentially the main characteristic of the current era and associated upheavals taking place in civilisation,» said the project’s commissioner Alisa Prudnikova about the significance of the exhibition.
Regional curators Svetlana Usoltseva, Oksana Budulak, Vladimir Seleznyov, Artyom Filatov, German Preobrazhensky, and Yevgeniy Kutergin, who created this exhibition in co-curatorship with Antonio Geusa, present their own view of modernity with the help of artists from across Russia. The exhibition demonstrates the relevance of regional art processes in a global context, giving art practices from the regions visibility and prominence. It also rethinks the horizontal links between regions, touching upon the themes of material resources, mimicry, care, personal time, independence, self-confidence, and self-deprecation.
«I can sense that contemporary art has, as it were, come of age in Russia,» says project co-curator Antonio Geusa, stressing the important role of the exhibition. «I am not saying it was immature before. I am not trying to pass judgment. What I’m saying is that the age of being neophytes preoccupied with experimentation has passed. No one talks about identity any more like they used to ten or fifteen years ago. Things are moresophisticated across the board. Even very young artists and curators are aware of their history. And this exhibition shows that our historical juncture right now marks the end of something: the experiments are over, we have grown up, no one writes manifestos anymore, and the art that we offer has no pretence of novelty. Everywhere in Russia, artists during the Perestroika period insisted they were “all new”. Nowadays even the younger artists don’t feel new, but they do feel that the art they produce is mature. In a sense, this is the end of the underground scene. It seems that this exhibition will be remembered as a symbol of the end of an era.»
The project is founded on direct collaboration between the creators and regional experts and artists. The show features the works of 80 artists from 21 cities across Russia, with 68 of those works created especially for the exhibition. One of the project’s guiding principles is that each artist must be given free rein to manifest their new ideas.
For example, Mayana Nasybullova from Serov examines the phenomenon of historical memory through the use of slogans inscribed on flags as powerful ideological tools.
In his installation Swimming Pool, Vladimir Chernyshev from Nizhniy Novgorod reflects on the contradictions that haunt the relationship between humans and nature.
Jonahisation, an installation by the Yekaterinburg art group GOOIJ, is a tongue- in-cheek reference to the story of Jonah and the whale.
You Will Die Anyway reads a blinking red neon line over a lone running machine. Perm artist Aleksey Ilkayev chose the running machine as a symbol for the new fashion for healthy lifestyles.
NEMOSKVA is a platform created for the encouragement and promotion of contemporary art in the regions of Russia. After an assessment of the cultural situation in 33 Russian cities, an international traveling symposium was set in motion along the Trans-Siberian Railway in August and September of 2018. It was followed by a summary exhibition by the curators at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Soon the Nomadic Curatorship School was launched, making its first stop in Satka, Chelyabinsk Region, in the autumn of 2019. The NEMOSKVA (More Than Moscow) exhibition about to open in Saint Petersburg is part three of the project.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Nikolay Akimov (Vyksa), Yelena Anosova (Irkutsk), Aleksandr Borisov (Saint Petersburg), Anastasia Vepreva (Saint Petersburg), the Gorod Ustinov micro-art group (Izhevsk), the GOOIJ art group (Yekaterinburg), Anton Gudkov (Omsk), Natalya Yegorova (Petrozavodsk), Valeriy Kazas (Krasnodar), Dmitriy Korotayev (Izhevsk), Varvara Kuzmina (Vladimir / Moscow), Asya Marakulina (Saint Petersburg), Aleksandr Morozov (Saint Petersburg), the Gentle Women art group (Kaliningrad), Oleg Ponomaryov (Krasnoyarsk), Kerim Ragimov and Pyotr Shvetsov (Saint Petersburg), Anna Rotayenko (Moscow), Ksenia Telyatnikova (Tomsk), Yegor Fedorichev (Omsk), Aleksey Ilkayev (Perm), the Khochu Byt Sokovym art group (Chelyabinsk), Alex Etevut (Perm), and others.
CURATORS AND CURATOR ZONES: Portal – Oksana Budulak NEMOSKVA in St Petersburg – Antonio Geusa Lethargy – Evgeny Kutergin Material Resource – German Preobrazhensky Park of Culture and Recreation –Vladimir Seleznev Mimicry – Svetlana Usoltseva Untitled – Artem Filatov