September 18, 2019 - Garage Museum of Contemporary Art - 7th Garage International Conference
September 18, 2019

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Courtesy Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and Babi Badalov

7th Garage International Conference
Post-What? Neo-How? Contemporary Configurations of the Former Soviet Space
November 22–23, 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
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On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the so-called “parade of sovereignties,” Garage Museum of Contemporary Art invites researchers, curators, and artists from the region, previously known as “post-Soviet,” to review the cultural trajectories of the past three decades and discuss “same but different” perspectives.

In 1990, a series of declarations of sovereignty by constituent parts of the Soviet Union, called “the parade of sovereignties,” marked the breakdown of the seemingly unified Soviet cultural space into numerous independent entities, and eventually led to the dissolution of the USSR. These developments saw the emergence of DIY and artist-run initiatives, the building of contemporary art institutions, and the legitimization of non-official art practices on a public and state level. For the first time the formerly Soviet cultural sphere attempted to integrate with the international art context, accompanied with intellectual work theorising national identity, “glocal” and post-colonial paradigms.

Until recently, both the time following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the space formerly occupied by it, were referred to as “post-Soviet,” a term that no longer feels relevant today. The new understanding of cultural community that has emerged between the former Soviet republics—despite political conflicts, postcolonial traumas, and national differences—has yet to find a name.

The terminological uncertainty, the limitations of existing terms and their alternatives will be among the topics examined at the 7th Garage International Conference, which begins November 22. What (might) have been built on the ruins of the Soviet cultural system? How did the Soros Foundation and other NGOs contribute to the development of local art scenes across the region? What are the challenges related to financial support, be it public and governmental, or corporate and private? How has the new establishment been constructed and what does “official representation” mean today, locally and internationally? What networks, unions, and collaborations are developing beyond the established borders? Does the Soviet past still define our identity politics and does the new generation born after 1990 share the post-imperial trauma?

The conference participants will explore the legacy of Soviet cultural policy, the results of artistic and cultural strategies set in the 1990s and 2000s, models of institutional development, and the discursive regimes across the former Soviet space.

The program of the 7th Garage International Conference has been developed with the aim of contributing to a deeper understanding of recent cultural developments across the region. The conference is the latest in a series of projects bringing together the museums and cultural institutions in the former Soviet space. Past efforts have included the Garage pavilion at Astana EXPO-2017, and the museum’s contributions to the Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture in Almaty and the Center for Contemporary Art in Tashkent, to say nothing of the museum’s efforts to elevate artists and independent curators from former Soviet states in its exhibition, publishing, research, and public programs.

The working languages of the conference are English and Russian. After the conference, a collection of texts will be published in both languages.

Conference Speakers: Hrach Bayadyan (Yerevan, Armenia), Aleksei Borisionok (Minsk, Belarus), Boris Chukhovich (Montreal, Canada), Teymur Daimi (Baku, Azerbaijan), Georgi Derluguian (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Anders Härm (Tallinn, Estonia), Nikita Kadan (Kyiv, Ukraine), Inga Lāce (Riga, Latvia), Viktor Misiano (Moscow, Russia), Stefan Rusu (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), Kęstutis Šapoka (Vilnius, Lithuania), Yulia Sorokina (Almaty, Kazakhstan), Madina Tlostanova (Linköping, Sweden), Alexey Ulko (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), Vladimir Us (Chisinau, Moldova). 

Artistic Interventions: Bouillon Group (Tbilisi, Georgia).

The conference is organized by Ekaterina Lazareva and Andrey Misiano, Garage Curators (Moscow, Russia).

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
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