January 30, 2020 - Garage Museum of Contemporary Art - New shows open
January 30, 2020

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Lucy McKenzie & Markus Proschek, LACUNA (Brussels/Rome), 2018. Atelier E.B, Passer-by, Serpentine, London, 2018. Photo: Tomas Rydin.

New shows open

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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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow is pleased to announce the opening of its shows for the winter season of 2020. These ambitious yet accessible exhibitions all exemplify Garage’s mission to showcase the most cutting-edge artists and ideas from today's international contemporary art world, and to advance deep academic research into the formerly repressed story of Russia’s art history. 

The product of a major research project, “We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams.” The Other East and Esoteric Knowledge in Russian Art, 1905-1969 (January 31–May 10) was developed through a collaboration between the team at Garage, art critic Alexey Ulko, and artist Alexandra Sukhareva. The exhibition documents artists who were members of secret societies or constructed individual practices informed by their mystical and “secret” knowledge, whose art was lost to history following the Revolution and Stalinism. The works exhibited in “We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams” exist at the periphery, outside the achievements of modernism and, in particular, the radical Soviet avant-garde. Its conscious secretiveness and invisibility, even for specialists, is the result of the fact that these pieces are not part of an aesthetic experiment but objects bearing witness to a spiritual awakening. Bringing together more than 150 artworks, artifacts, and archival documents, “We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams” features the work of Ariadna Arendt, Lydia Armand, Boris Astromov, Andrei Bely, Gleb Boky, Martje Brandsma, Viktor Chernovolenko, Pyotr Fateev, George Gurdjieff, Alexei Isupov, Isaac Itkind, Sergey Kalmykov, Aleksandr Kots, Aleksandr Nikolayev (Usto Mumin), Rimma Nikolaeva, Margarita Sabashnikova, Aleksandr Sardan, Sergey Shigolev, Julian Shutsky, Boris Smirnov-Rusetsky, Rudolf Steiner, Daniil Stepanov, Alexandra Sukhareva, Anna (Asya) Turgeneva, VASYARUN, Vasily Vatagin, and Boris Zubakin. It is curated by Katya Inozemtseva and Andrey Misiano.

Opening simultaneously is Passer-by (January 31–May 10) from Atelier E.B. (short for Edinburgh Bruxelles), a collaboration between designer Beca Lipscombe and artist Lucy McKenzie. In Passer-by the two examine the consumption of fashion, from the individual purchase of garments, through the gaze of passers-by outside shop window displays, to the enjoyment of fashion in books, magazines, exhibitions, and the internet. Heavily localized iterations of Passer-by have been shown at the Serpentine Galleries, London (2018) and Lafayette Anticipations in Paris (2019). In Moscow, Lipscombe and McKenzie have worked with the Garage Field Research program to focus particularly on how fashion and display functioned in the Soviet Union, within the restricted landscape of official magazines and fashion houses. At Garage, Passer-by is curated by Daria Bobrenko, Valentin Diaconov, and Oksana Polyakova.

The opening of those shows will coincide with a brand-new Garage Atrium Commission from the Polish contemporary artist Monika Sosnowska (b. 1972). Exercises in Construction, Bending (January 31–May 19) was inspired by Sosnowska’s recent research trip to Russia, where she became fascinated by masterpieces of 1920s and 1930s architecture, particularly the engineering complexity and visual simplicity of Vladimir Shukhov’s hyperboloid structures. At the time of their invention in the late-nineteenth century, hyperboloid towers embodied ideas of advanced technology, durability, and economical design. Sosnowska’s 20-meter, 7-tonne grid structure, however, is not functional in that way: Its body is bent in half, toppled, and crammed into the Museum’s atrium. It is in wonderful conversation with the remaining examples of Soviet Modernism found in the 1968 building, around which Garage has been built. This Atrium Commission is curated by Anastasia Mityushina.

All of this joins Sekretiki: Digging Up Soviet Underground Culture, 1966–1985, a Garage show that opened late last month, focusing on Soviet-era underground art and other secret nonconformist activities like yoga, the I Ching, and alternative therapies, whether physical or mental. The show offers unopened envelopes with self-destructing messages, artworks planted in a field like potatoes, and documentation from an apartment show that was presented in darkness, the artworks hidden among common household objects. The show documents the mysterious projects of non-official art created by Vyacheslav Akhunov, Armen Bugayan, Rimma and Valeriy Gerlovin, Collective Actions, TOTART, Gnezdo (Nest), Mukhomor (Toadstool), and Pertsy (Peppers), plus other artists and groups. These are shown alongside experiments by samizdat thinkers and activists such as Andris Grīnbergs and Vladimir Teplyshev. Sekretiki closes May 24, and was curated by Kaspars Vanags in collaboration with Valentin Diaconov, Andrey Misiano, and Sasha Obukhova.

These exhibitions start the year with a bang, and pave the way for the 2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, an authoritative, Museum-wide survey of art from across the Russian Federation that opens June 13.

We look forward to seeing you in Moscow.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
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