Out of Town: Andrei Monastyrski & Collective Actions
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Out of Town: Andrei Monastyrski & Collective Actions

Out of Town: Andrei Monastyrski & Collective Actions
Date
November 5, 2011

e-flux is pleased to present “Out of Town: Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions,” curated by Boris Groys. In conjunction with Performa 11, the opening on November 5 will inaugurate e-flux’s new space on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

As the first comprehensive presentation in the US of this central figure in 1970s Moscow Conceptualism, the exhibition draws together a selection of works and documentation from Andrei Monastyrski’s spatiotemporal practice as an artist, poet, theoretician, and member of the still-active group Collective Actions. Documentation of the continuing project Trips Out of Town, created and performed with Collective Actions are presented along with a selection of the artists photographic series Earth Works (1987) and Monastyrski’s more recent performances Podjachev’s Youtube channel (2010–2011).

Founded by Monastyrski in 1976 and still active today, Collective Actions is comprised of artists Nikita Alekseev, Elena Elagina, Georgy Kizevalter, Igor Makarevich, Andrei Monastyrski, Nikolai Panitkov, Sergei Romashko, and Sabine Hänsgen. CA have since undertaken over 125 planned performances together with many of Russia’s leading avant-garde theoreticians, thinkers, and artists. These are compiled in an ongoing series of books entitled Trips Out of Town, of which 10 volumes exist so far, with an 11th in progress.

The aesthetic events that make up CA’s “actions” have been developed both in vast rural spaces (fields, forests, rivers and so on) and in the texts that introduce the actions, accompany them, and comment on the events of an action. However, some actions have also been held in the city and in closed spaces when the process of developing a contemporary aesthetic language has called for it.

These performances were key in the development of Monastyrski’s Earth Works, a series of black and white photographs of Moscow’s high-rise buildings, underpasses and sanitary system constructions. This collection of works, together with a selection of Monastyrski’s recent performances from Podjachev’s Youtube channel (2010–2011) exemplify the artist’s commitment to a practice in which art and life are bound, and which evades the fetishization of the art objects and the artist alike.

Please join us on Saturday, November 5 in New York for the opening of the exhibition and the new e-flux space at 311 East Broadway, 2nd Floor, 7pm. On Thursday, November 10, 6pm Boris Groys will present on the work of Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions, in conjunction with the launch of e-flux journal issue 29: Revisiting Conceptual Art, guest-edited by Groys.

For further information: mila [​at​] e-flux.com.

This collaboration takes as its starting point the exhibition “Empty Zones,” curated by Groys for the Russian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011.

Andrei Monastyrski has participated in the International Art Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia (1993, 2003, 2007 and 2011), documenta 12 (2007), “Total Enlightenment. Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960–1990,” Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main/Fundación Juan March, Madrid (2008–2009), and Brussels Biennial 1 (2008), and was the subject of a solo exhibition held at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2010–2011). He lives and works in Moscow.

Boris Groys is the professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, and has curated several exhibitions, including: “Dream Factory Communism,” Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main (2004); “Total Enlightenment. Conceptual Art in Moscow (1960–1990),” Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main/Fundación Juan March, Madrid (2008–2009); “Medium Religion” (with Peter Weibel) at the ZKM, Karlsruhe (2009). Recent publications include “Art Power,” MIT-Press (2008); “History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism,” MIT Press (2010); and “Going Public,” Sternberg Press/e-flux (2010).

Performa 11 (November 1–21, 2011) is the fourth edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. www.performa-arts.org

Special thanks to: Michael Clemow, Olivia Crough, Lapo Gavioli, Roselee Goldberg, Boris Groys, Nikolai Molok, Steffen Oestreich, Performa, Stella Art Foundation, Brian Kuan Wood and Mila Zacharias.

Presented in cooperation with PERFORMA

Reviews

“e-flux Inaugurates New Space with Moscow's Conceptual Art”, Arterritory

This autumn, all trips “out of town” lead to the Big Apple. The electronic art-news publication/cultural bulletin, e-flux , will celebrate the opening of their new exhibition space in New York’s modern Lower East Side neighborhood on 5 November. In starting this new stage of their development, e-flux will present to the public the exhibition “Trips...

This autumn, all trips “out of town” lead to the Big Apple. The electronic art-news publication/cultural bulletin, e-flux, will celebrate the opening of their new exhibition space in New York’s modern Lower East Side neighborhood on 5 November. In starting this new stage of their development, e-flux will present to the public the exhibition “Trips Out of Town”, a co-production by the Russian pioneer in conceptual art, Andrei Monastyrski (Андре́й Ви́кторович Монасты́рский, 1949) and the still-energetic artist-group, Collective Actions.

The year was 1976 when four legendary figures of the Moscow Art scene – Andrei Monastyrski, Nikita Alekseeyev, Georgy Kizevalter and Nikolai Panitkov – founded a new movement in conceptual art with the goal of creating artistically organized processes and activities. Often times, Monastyrski would hold the group’s meetings at his flat. He meticulously took notes on the subjects of conversation, which were later published in special editions that threw light on the initial plans, activities and history of Collective Actions.

The curator of said exhibition is the Berlin-born Boris Efimovich Groys (1947) – cultural theoretician on Russian art, essayist and author of several international art projects. Groys was also commissar of Russia’s national pavilion (“Empty Zones” by Andrei Monastyrski) at the 54th Venice Biennial.

The exhibition (open from 5 November through 7 January of next year) draws together a selection of works and documentation from Andrei Monastyrski’s career as an artist, poet, theoretician, and member of Collective Actions. Along with the project “Out of Town”, a selection of Monastyrski’s photographic series, titled Earth Works (1987), and his most recent performance, Podjachev’s Youtube Channel (2010–2011), will also be presented. As part of the celebratory opening, Boris Groys himself will give a lecture on 10 November.

—November 1, 2011

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““Andrei Monastyrski & Collective Actions” at e-flux’s new Manhattan space”, Art Media Agency

From 5 November to 7 January E-flux will open a new space in New York with the exhibition “Andrei Monastyrski & Collective Actions”. The international E-Flux online network, founded in 1999 in New York, includes more than 50,000 art professionals per day thanks to its websites and projects, such as exhibitions. E-flux pays a tribute to...

From 5 November to 7 January E-flux will open a new space in New York with the exhibition “Andrei Monastyrski & Collective Actions”. The international E-Flux online network, founded in 1999 in New York, includes more than 50,000 art professionals per day thanks to its websites and projects, such as exhibitions.

E-flux pays a tribute to Andrei Monastyrski, one of the central figures of Russian conceptual art from the 1970s, through a selection of his artistic, poetical, theoretical works, as well as his works from his membership of Collective Actions group. His project that is still developing ,“Trips Out of Town”, made and produced with the group, is presented in some of his photographic works.

Collective Actions (CA) was founded by the Russian artist in 1976. Still active today, this group produced more than a hundred performances with avant-garde leaders. Their spectacular actions are carried out through nature – in forests, fields or near rivers – or in towns and sometimes even in completely closed spaces. This action programme is very close to the development of Andrei Monastyrski’s photographic works. In fact, his combined performances allowed him to produce an important black and white photograph series on Moscow. CA’s texts are as famous as their performances which lean towards the notion of action.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Performa 11, the international biennial of visual and performaning arts. Launched in 2004 by RoseLee Goldberg, this manifestation that will take place from 1 to 21 November, regroups nearly a hundred artists that explore visual arts, dance, music, photography, poetry, architecture and design.

—October 28, 2011

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“Trips Out of Town comes to New York”, Baibakov Art Projects

After a few years operating out of its reading room on Essex Street, e-flux – the mailing list-cum-cultural hub, founded in 1999 in New York – is about to open an exhibition space on 311 East Broadway. e-flux will inaugurate its space with a revisit to this year’s Russian pavilion at Venice with an exhibition of Andrei Monastyrski and Collective...

After a few years operating out of its reading room on Essex Street, e-flux – the mailing list-cum-cultural hub, founded in 1999 in New York – is about to open an exhibition space on 311 East Broadway. e-flux will inaugurate its space with a revisit to this year’s Russian pavilion at Venice with an exhibition of Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions, curated by Boris Groys. It will be interesting to see how the pavilion project is refigured for the Lower East Side. According to e-flux’s press release:

As the first comprehensive presentation in the US of this central figure in 1970s Moscow Conceptualism, the exhibition draws together a selection of works and documentation from Andrei Monastyrski’s spatiotemporal practice as an artist, poet, theoretician, and member of the still-active group Collective Actions. Documentation of the continuing project Trips Out of Town, created and performed with Collective Actions are presented along with a selection of the artists photographic series Earth Works (1987) and Monastyrski’s more recent performances Podjachev’s Youtube channel (2010–2011).

The project will be included under the umbrella of Performa 11 and will open November 5, with a reception starting at 7pm. There is a follow-up lecture by Groys himself scheduled for November 10 at 6pm. Baibakov Art Projects is proud that e-flux would open their space with such an important show, and we wish them all the best with future projects!

—October 26, 2011

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Category
Performance, Urbanism
Subject
Conceptual & Post-Conceptual Art, Soviet Union, Russia

Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally renowned expert on Soviet-era art and literature, especially the Russian avant-garde.

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