July 18, 2018 - Garage Museum of Contemporary Art - Preview: Fall Shows
July 18, 2018

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Marcel Broodthaers, Parle Ecrit Copie (Talks, Writes, Copies)​, 1972–73. Three typewriters, letterpress on canvas
34 x 31.5 x 38 cm (each). © Estate Marcel Broodthaers.


Preview: Fall Shows
September 12, 2018–February 28, 2019

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Gorky Park
9/32 Krymsky Val St.
119049 Moscow
Hours: Monday–Sunday 11am–10pm

T +7 495 645 05 20


Since the start of 2018, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow has assembled some of its most ambitious shows to date as part of its 10th anniversary programming. This fall promises to be no exception and in September the museum will debut four projects with an intergenerational lineup of artists from across the globe who challenge our understanding of what resonates in art today.

Things kick off September 12 with Moving Away: The Internationalist Architect, a project staged at Garage in collaboration with bauhaus imaginista, a multi-platform, international project that tracks the architects, designers, and ideas of the Bauhaus school and its influence around the world. The Moscow iteration of the exhibition traces the complex relationship between the Bauhaus and the Soviet Union through the life and work of former Bauhaus teachers and students in Moscow, focusing in particular on the graduates and students who followed the second Bauhaus director, architect Hannes Meyer and his wife, textile designer Lena Bergner Meyer to the Soviet Union in 1930: the architect Philipp Tolziner, who ended up living the rest of his life in Moscow; architect and urban planner Konrad Püschel; architect and teacher Tibor Weiner; and architect Lotte Stam-Beese, who was the first woman to study in the building department of the Bauhaus Dessau. 

Then there's The Fabric of Felicity (through January 27), an ambitious women-centric exhibition that looks at clothing outside the realm of fashion: as uniform, as universal form, as code. Taking its title from a passage in pragmatist philosopher Jeremy Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and LegislationThe Fabric of Felicity speaks to our desire to be seen and heard in the age of avatars and selfies. Presenting historic and contemporary works from 40 artists in Russia, Bolivia, India, Ukraine, Egypt, Germany, and Iraq, among other places, the show looks at clothes as a metaphor for mass movements (and their victims), as a training ground for avant-garde projects of equality, or as storage for ancestral memories. The first quality may be seen, for example, in Haven Is Elsewhere (2018), a large installation made from clothes belonging to Rohingya refugees by up-and-coming Bangladeshi artist Kamruzzaman Shadhin.

Later in the month, the museum will present Marcel Broodthaers (September 29–February 3), which is the artist’s first show in Russia. Developed specifically for Garage, the exhibition reveals what the artist once described as “the place where the world of visual art and poetry may perhaps […] converge on the exact dividing line that absorbs both.” Presenting many of the artist’s key works—from early objects and films, to sections of the pioneering Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, his own conceptual museum, and his last installations, or “Décors”—the show will reveal how Broodthaers’ use of language and unique take on institutional critique led to a cult following among Russian artists and the potential for rethinking the values of the museum, a mission Garage has undertaken since its inception ten years ago.

Then there's The Modern Garden (September 29–February 28), a large-scale installation by Damián Ortega and the artist's first solo presentation in Russia. This new commission—the most ambitious to date in Garage Square—will be comprised of 30 sculptures, wherein each structure is inspired by a commercial logo with Modernist influences, conveying ideas of progress and new technology, but at the service of corporations. Ortega is interested in the transformation of Modernist aesthetics—and of the Modernist moral imperative—and translates these graphic symbols into architectonic three-dimensional objects made from recycled plywood, concrete, and metal. The works question traditional beliefs in technological progress and innovation, and instead invite audiences to envisage a new ecology of context and meaning while wandering between the objects, installed as a hybrid between a traditional European sculpture park and a prototype for a new kind of city.

Finally, Garage's always anticipated Atrium project for the fall will be a the first museum staging of Anri Sala's The Last Resort (September 29–January 27). Featuring 38 suspended snare drums, the piece involves a new rendition of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, one of the composer’s last works and a pivotal musical creation of the Enlightenment. Exploring the cultural complexity of the period, Sala replaces the original tempo indications in Mozart’s composition with instructions based on wind conditions on a voyage from that period recorded by sailor James Bell in his diary, to imagine “what would become of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto if it were to float and drift like a message in a bottle.” As such, The Last Resort amplifies what the artist describes as “contradictions between the departure point of some remarkable principles of the Enlightenment—such as tolerance and a non-judgmental acceptance of the other—and their fallouts on arrival, exacerbating prejudices, which in turn caused untold devastation and loss.” The Last Resort will open with an new orchestral performance of Clarinet Concerto in A Major by New Music Studio ensemble on September 29.

Each of these shows highlights the best of what Garage has to offer. Visitors can experience works from some of the most progressive artists in the world today while also seeing stagings of older works from a contemporary perspective. Perhaps this is why Garage's visitor numbers have grown over the decade beyond what seemed fathomable, from 10,000 in its first year, to over 700,000 in 2017.

Garage’s fall shows open in September and run through February. For a full list of exhibitions, performances, publications, research initiatives, and public programs contact Cultural Counsel at garage [​at​] culturalcounsel.com.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
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