Moscow's Garage Museum Announces Plans For 2020
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art's program for 2020 features many exhibition, research and infrastructural projects, each exploring new ways of interacting with visitors, artists and the environment and based on the museum's commitment to sustainable development.
The museum's programs are focused on the study of contemporary developments in culture and the use of new technology in art and museum practices, as well as on research projects, that can help fill in the blanks in the history of Russian art.
Beatrix Ruf, who previously was director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Kunsthalle Zurich, will join our team in the new year. Together with Garage's director Anton Belov, she will work on the museum's long-term development and contribute her vision to the exhibition program, planning, education and partnership projects at Garage.
Archive collections from institutions in Russia's regions will become available to the public via the online catalogue of Russian Art Archive Network (RAAN). Garage grants have allowed to digitize archives from PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art (Perm), Typography Center for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar), as well as from researchers Aleksandra Shcherbina and Viktoria Kalinina who work with the contemporary art department of Tolyatti Art Museum.
Along with new additions to its collection, Garage Library will present an extensive public program including Quieter, Please-a series of concerts that explore various possible relations between text, music and space, running throughout the year. In spring the Library will present artist books created for its collection by Anastasia Albokrinova, Asya Marakulina and Ivan Novikov.
Next year, Garage will host three large-scale forums exploring some of the key trends in the development of cultural institutions. The 8th Garage International Conference will be devoted to the relationship between art and technology and bring together artists and theorists interested in new media. European-art.net, which Garage joined in 2018, will have its annual conference in Russia for the first time. Invited speakers include representatives of the world's key archives of contemporary art, including the documenta archiv (Kassel), the Art Archives of the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK ISEA, Zurich), the archive of the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art and the Centre for Artists' Publications in Bremen. Garage's annual conference on inclusion Experiencing the Museum will focus on the role of web and digital technology in making museums more accessible.
Garage's academic program is built around the museum's department at National Research University-Higher School of Economics. In summer the university will be accepting new applications for the MA program Curatorial Practices in Contemporary Art developed by the Garage team to educate curators and art managers to work in Russia and abroad.
120 new undergraduate students will enroll for Garage's two-year minor program, Contemporary Art: An Introduction to Art Theory and Museum and Exhibition Practices.
Garage Endowment Fund will form an endowment, the income from which will be spent on the development of its academic programs. Donors will be able to support particular students and researchers through scholarships or internship grants or invest into research programs in general.
In summer, Garage will publish the first issue of The Garage Journal: Research in Art, Museums and Culture, devoted to the history, theory and practices of contemporary art and culture, and museum studies. The journal will be published in Russian, English and German.
Garage's Department of Inclusive Programs will present their findings related to working with disabled visitors accumulated over the past 5 years on a special online platform. Inclusion guidebooks, videos and articles written by Garage staff will now be available to the public. The platform was designed to foster the exchange of knowledge and expertise in the field of inclusion. Garage team will also start working on the adaptation of the museum's website for users with disabilities and develop a special app for visitors with learning and developmental disabilities. In 2020, the museum will also work on adapting its film program for deaf and hard of hearing visitors: most Russian films will be interpreted into Russian Sign Language.
Garage's work with migrants and refugees will be organized along several lines. The museum will start preparing tour guides who have had experience in migration; run courses for young professionals interested in researching or working with migration; and develop a program introducing children of migrants and refugees to the work of various cultural institutions. In summer, the museum will organize Migration Point festival for the World Refugee Day.
In the first year of their work, the residents of Garage Studios and Artist Residencies included 40 Russian artists as well as Swiss artist Anna Meschiari. Participants of the program could work on their projects for Garage and other institutions across the world. In 2020 the residencies program will also be open to international curators.
Garage will continue supporting artists and researchers including through grants for contemporary artists, researchers taking part in its Archive Summer program and authors who publish texts on art and culture through Garage.txt. The museum will also offer support to international curators who want to visit the 2nd Garage Russian Triennial of Contemporary Art.
Sekretiki: Digging Up Soviet Underground Culture, 1966-1985
December 11, 2019-May 24, 2020
Based on Garage Archive Collection, this project by Riga-based curator Kaspars Vanags explores the human passion for mystery and ritualized secrets. Archive materials are presented within a rich socio-historical context reconstructed through works found in various public and private collections.
The complex history of underground art practices, countercultural movements, and unofficial healing experiments in the Soviet Union during the era of stagnation will be presented as a connected ecosystem. Works by Vyacheslav Akhunov, Armen Bugayan, Collective Actions, Rimma and Valeriy Gerlovin, Andris Grinbergs, TOTART, Gnezdo (Nest), Mukhomor (Toadstool), Pertsy (Peppers), and other artists and groups will be exhibited alongside experiments by samizdat thinkers and activists such as Evgeny Golovin and Yury Mamleev. Documents relating to the I Ching (Book of Changes) and yogic and shamanic practices will offer insight into Soviet hippie and nonconformist consciousness. The exhibition will also examine the influence Soviet underground culture had on Soviet society and physical practices of self-care in the collectivist Soviet Union of the Brezhnev era.
Curator: Kaspars Vanags in collaboration with Valentin Diaconov, Andrey Misiano, and Sasha Obukhova, Garage curators
Art Experiment. You're on Air
January 2-12, 2020
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will present a new edition of its annual interactive project Art Experiment. The 10th Art Experiment explores the poetic, magical, and mnemonic properties of scents.
Visitors will be able to take part in perfume making masterclasses and gas analysis workshops, have a portrait of their smell made, create healing flower bouquets, and find out about olfactory art. Garage mediators will help visitors attune their perception to new experiences and take them on an exciting journey into the world of transparent and ephemeral matter.
Curator: Iaroslav Volovod
Atelier E.B: Passer-by
January 31-May 10, 2020
Atelier E.B is a fashion and art project by designer Beca Lipscombe (Edinburgh) and artist Lucy McKenzie (Brussels). Lipscombe and McKenzie believe that fashion is consumed not only by people who buy clothes from new collections but also by "passers-by:" those who see garments in shop windows, fashion magazines, and books, at exhibitions or on the Internet.
The duo's exhibition Passer-by is a project created at the intersection of several genres. It combines shop- and museum-style display cabinets, archival materials on fashion, objects from ethnographic museums and international exhibitions, and a pop-up shop where visitors can try on and purchase clothes made by the atelier. Contemporary artists invited by the duo experiment with mannequins and retail spaces to create new ways of displaying clothes.
Curators: Daria Bobrenko, Valentin Diaconov, and Oksana Polyakova
"We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams." The Other East and Esoteric Knowledge in Russian Art 1905-1969
January 31-May 10, 2020
"We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams." The Other East and Esoteric Knowledge in Russian Art 1905-1969 is the result of a major research project undertaken by the team at Garage together with Samarkand-based art critic Alexey Ulko and Russian artist Alexandra Sukhareva.
The exhibition brings together paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photography, films, rare books, archive documents, music, and performances relating to various historical periods, artistic traditions, cultural contexts, and geographies. The works exhibited bear witness to the lives, creativity, and personal tragedies of those people living in the Russian Empire, and then the Soviet Union, in the first half of the twentieth century whose explorations were closely connected with a "pretersensual" understanding of the world, secret knowledge, closed societies, and mystical practices. Such people often gravitated toward the Soviet East in search of the truth.
Alexandra Sukhareva will create a special series of material yet subtle works, organically integrated into the space of the exhibition. The structure of the exhibition is not so much an art historical review of the theme, as an extended literary narrative presented as an exhibition.
Curators: Katya Inozemtseva and Andrey Misiano
Garage Atrium Commission Monika Sosnowska. Exercises in Construction, Bending
January 31-May 19, 2020
Monika Sosnowska is known for her sculptures and installations that rethink the achievements of architecture in the twentieth century. Deforming full-size functional engineering structures and construction elements, she presents to the viewer naked and distorted forms that can be interpreted as a poetic metaphor for the psychosomatic states experienced by contemporary humans-their fragility, vulnerability, disconnectedness-or as a test of modernist ideas and their resilience.
In her installation for Garage, Sosnowska remains faithful to her theme: the hyperboloid grid structure of a landmark constructivist building-a style which once embodied technology,
durability, and economical design-is bent in half, toppled, and crammed into the Museum's atrium. It looks awkward and uncomfortable, but the structure's "discomfort" offers aesthetic pleasure to the viewer. Today, most constructivist buildings, such as the Shukhov Radio Tower, are hard to access, and the installation offers the opportunity to take a closer look at their particular elegance. For similar aesthetic reasons, Sosnowska polishes the surfaces of her structures to perfection. The mix of discomfort and delight creates a memorable viewing experience.
Curator: Anastasia Mityushina
GARAGE ATRIUM COMMISSIONS Tomás Saraceno
June 12-November 29, 2020
The tenth Garage Atrium Commission is an installation by Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno, who is known for his works at the intersection of art, life science, and the social sciences. The installation for Garage-a mirrored sphere suspended in the air-is a product of Saraceno's long-standing interest in constructing realizable utopias.
This aerial invitation encourages viewers to untether a new era of planetary attunement free from borders and fossil fuels; one that speaks to the poetic and tangible logic of the international and interdisciplinary community Aerocene.
Inspired by the ideas of Western visionaries like Frei Otto and Richard Buckminster Fuller, Saraceno's aerosolar sculptures also resonate with projects by Soviet avant-garde artists, such as the architectons of Kazimir Malevich, Georgy Krutikov's Flying City or Vladimir Tatlin's Letatlin.
Curator: Iaroslav Volovod
Garage Square Commission Erbossyn Meldibekov. Transformer
May 1-November 29, 2020
This project by Kazakh artist Erbossyn Meldibekov is based on his research into the history of a single public garden in Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent. Over the past 100 years the garden has
had six different names and ten different monuments at its center. The first monument was to Konstantin von Kaufmann, a Russian military leader who played a key role in the conquest of Central Asia. It was erected under the Russian Empire. After the Revolution it was replaced by a Red Flag monument, followed by Hammer and Sickle, The Beacon of Revolution, statues of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, a stele with the Program of the Communist Party, and finally, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a statue of Amir Timur.
Meldibekov's installation Transformer is a 4.5-meter wooden construction set with interchangeable pieces based on the garden's former monuments. An ironic comment on the crisis of Central Asian identities, which Meldibekov believes has now continued for over a century, this interactive piece is also a critique of ideological manipulations of the national idea by governments. By turning grand monuments to conquerors and state symbols into a children's toy, the artist reminds us that entire nations can sometimes be a plaything in someone's hands.
2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art A Beautiful Night for All the People
June 12-October 18, 2020
Anything but classification. Let it be blind wandering in symbolic thickets and deranged patterns, but not classification. Roman Mikhailov
The 2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art is a large-scale examination of the current Russian art scene. Conceived as a means of activating the art world as much as a way of inspiring the viewer, the second iteration of Garage Triennial works as a playful analysis of the system of relationships operating in Russian art today. Using the most immediate of formats-a series of discussions and meetings-the curators are producing the exhibition by delegating expert responsibility to the participants of the inaugural Triennial, who were invited to select the 2nd Garage Triennial's artists in line with two conditions. The first is that the relationship between the recommender and the participant must be explicit (teacher/student, parent/child, seller/buyer). The second is that the recommender should help the participant to create the work for the exhibition. This mechanism reveals aspects of Russian art's day-to-day existence that are rarely brought into the public domain, and presents them to the viewer. The resulting horizontal structure has an element of unpredictability, but the curators believe that this risk, and their readiness to accept any kind of outcome, will give this type of regular survey show new meaning.
An important component of the 2nd Garage Triennial is the development of relationships with Russia's regions, with the project's geography planned to extend well beyond Moscow. This time around, the regional partner institutions that worked with Garage as advisors and guides to local art scenes for the 1st Triennial will be able to apply for Triennial grants to produce their own event or special project, with the sole selection criterion being its anticipated impact on the local art scene.
Curators: Valentin Diaconov and Anastasia Mityushina