June 10, 2016 - Garage Museum of Contemporary Art - Summer programming
June 10, 2016

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Urs Fischer, YES, 2011–ongoing. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

Summer programming
Urs Fischer, Mauro Restiffe, First-Year Anniversary
June 10–August 21, 2016

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 celebrates its first anniversary in its new home with a wide-ranging series of exhibitions, tours, and events that reflect how it is a place where people, art, and ideas make history. Small Axe, Urs Fischer’s first exhibition in Russia, will include the largest socially-activated artwork to ever take place in the country. Also on view will be Mauro Restiffe’s Post-Soviet Russia 1995/2015, the result of his two-year project in Moscow, and Garage, Archived, which charts the evolution of the Museum’s activities from its inception in 2008.

Founded by Dasha Zhukova, Garage is the first philanthropic institution in Russia to create a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art. The organization was initially housed in (and received its name from) the historic Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, designed by the Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov, and then relocated to Gorky Park in 2012, to a temporary pavilion designed by Shigeru Ban. Three years later, Garage moved to its first permanent home—a former restaurant built in 1968—which was transformed into a contemporary museum by Rem Koolhaas and OMA.

In Small Axe, Urs Fischer responds to the building and its surroundings with a series of new works. Set against the grandeur and permanence of the Soviet Modernist architecture, small, hand-painted sculptures each capture a transient moment—from a wilted tulip in a vase, to a rat playing a grand piano—which are juxtaposed with a number of large-scale sculptures—from an life-size, figurative candle that will be lit each day, to an abstract nine-meter-long gestural line, which is a greatly magnified, sculptural version of a hand-drawn doodle that visitors can walk under and around. Small Axe also extends to Garage Square, where Fischer will stage his ongoing collaborative project“Yes” (2011–). Involving hundreds of people from all walks of life to create a landscape of clay sculptures, the landscape around the Museum will metamorphose over the course of the show.

On view until June 26, Mauro Restiffe’s exhibition, Post-Soviet Russia 1995/2015, juxtaposes two series of black-and-white photographs taken in Moscow and St Petersburg, first in the 1990s (during his extended stay in the country) and then 20 years later, in 2015, when he spent time recording the transition of the museum in relation to the city and people it serves. In both series the Brazilian artist’s preoccupation with small, deliberately ahistorical events transpire, blurring past and present to reveal the idiosyncratic and timeless qualities of two very different periods in post-Soviet Russia.

Garage, Archived is the first project to draw on the Museum’s institutional archive, sharing with audiences key milestones, such as the reconstruction of the historical spaces it has occupied, the experiences of the people who shape its inner workings, and the evolution of the educational and exhibition programs. Special events, programmed over Garage’s birthday weekend include a performance, Art Out Loud, on June 11, where actors will animate the poetry of artists in Garage Archive Collection: from the Romantics of the 1960s and the Conceptualists of the 1970s, to the “new wavers” of the 1980s and the Moscow radical actionists of the 1990s. On June 12, a round table discussion, Moscow Conceptualism Archived will feature three active representatives of Moscow Conceptualism today who have recently contributed to Garage Archive: curator and art critic Joseph Backstein, and artists George Kiesewalter and Igor Makarevich. Dedicated to the complexities of writing a history of Moscow Conceptualism in retrospect, this discussion will explore how to approach the live artistic practices of the 1970s and 1980s that weren’t always recorded at the time.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a place for people, art, and ideas to create history. Through an extensive program of exhibitions, events, education, research, and publishing, the institution reflects on current developments in Russian and international culture, creating opportunities for public dialogue, as well as the production of new work and ideas in Moscow. At the center of all these activities is Garage Archive Collection, which is the first archive in the country related to the development of Russian contemporary art from the 1950s through to the present.

Press contact
Cultural Counsel
Adam Abdalla: adam [​at​] culturalcounsel.com
Hunter Braithwaite: hunter [​at​] culturalcounsel.com

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
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