October 15, 2008 - The Museum of Modern Art, New York - Modern Mondays: An Evening with Olga Chernysheva
October 15, 2008

Modern Mondays: An Evening with Olga Chernysheva

March. 2005. Russia. Directed by Olga Chernysheva.

Modern Mondays:
An Evening with Olga Chernysheva

October 20, 7:00 PM

11 West 53 St. New York, New York


Where is the cutting edge of the motion picture? Discover it first at MoMA. Building upon the long tradition of exploring cinematic experimentation, Modern Mondays is a weekly showcase for innovation on screen. Engage with contemporary filmmakers and moving image artists and rediscover landmark works that changed the way we experience film and media.

For the opening presentation of MoMA’s fall Modern Mondays series, Moscow-based artist Olga Chernysheva discusses her artistic practice in the context of Russia today, and shows seven video works that range from her very first endeavor to her most recent videos.

Chernysheva uses a range of media to produce expressive, penetrating artworks that take contemporary Russian experience as their theme. Her often-unwitting subjects are observed negotiating a society in turbulence, where a common sense of a shared future has disintegrated. Her films and photographs transcend their documentary function to lyrically investigate the very fabric of individuality and self-sufficiency, and to expansively meditate on the role of the artist in a time of flux. A graduate from Moscow Cinema Academy (1986) and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1996), the artist uses video, photography, drawing and painting to bring to the surface the interiority of her subjects in the midst of urban life, and focusing on the beauty, agency and transcendence in small gestures.

The evening’s program begins with Marmot [ital] (1999), Chernysheva’s very first video. This work reflects the artist’s ongoing interest in the changing landscape of Russia. Here she focuses on the scene of a flag waving Communist demonstration harkening back to the Soviet era and one of its participants who take a short break. For Chernysheva, the scene illustrates a shared state of mind among the citizens, a kind of “phantom pain” that moved Chernysheva to pick up a video camera.

Chernysheva’s most well know work The Train (2003), is a remarkable video journey through the carriages of a Russian intercity train that recalls the Constructivist cinema of Dziga Vertov. The video is both an affecting window on contemporary Russian life and a shrewd re-working of the structures of conventional cinema: the movement through the train and the interactions with different individuals mimic feature film’s dramatic narratives.

The final work in the program, and Cherneysheva’s most recent video Untitled: After Sengai (2008), portrays a street vendor selling a child’s erasable sketchpad on a bleak city square. Opening with a close-up of the seller’s face, Chernysheva’s camera reveals a keen self-possession, determination, and Zen-like demeanor amidst the long wait for a sale. Other works in the program include: Anonymous: Part 1, 2004; Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), 2003-2005; Festive Dream; March 2005.

Special thanks to Foxy Production, New York.

OLGA CHERNYSHEVA (Moscow, Russia, 1962) lives and works in Moscow. She holds a BA from the Moscow Cinema Academy, Moscow and an MA from the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Selected exhibitions include: Lunds Konsthall, Sweden, 2008; Moscow Biennale for Contemporary Art (2007); Stella Art Foundation, Moscow (2006 & 2005); Biennale of Sydney; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (all 2006); Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York (2005); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (all 2004); Russian Pavilion, 49th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale; Kunstlerhaus Vienna, Austria (both 2001).

For ticketing information and film schedule: www.moma.org; 212-708-9480

The Museum of Modern Art, New York
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