OUTSIDE VIDEO ART RUSSIA
Daria Zhukova’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow is closed for renovations until February 2009 when it will reopen with Christie’s owner Francois Pinault’s exhibition of his personal collection. In the meantime Zhukova is showing an exhibiton of 12 video art on outdoor jumbotron screens (normally used for advertisements) in Moscow.
“Fashion designer and It-Girl Dasha Zhukova’s nonprofit Garage Center for Contemporary Culture has rarely been out of the art-world spotlight since it opened this September. Now, her exhibition space in the former bus depot is making an open-air assault on Moscow’s public with a monthlong exhibition of video art on a giant screen over the Mosenergo power plant.
The clips that make up “Moscow on the MOVE,” which began showing last Saturday, were handpicked by Hans-Ulrich Obrist, co-director of exhibitions and programs at London’s trendy Serpentine Gallery. Videos by twelve artists and filmmakers from around the world will be shown in groups for a week each and then replaced by new 50-minute segments.
The project, based on a similar Olbrist venture in Seoul in 2000, is conceived not as a film to be screened but as a part of the city itself. “During my first visit, I was struck by the city’s Jumbotrons,” Olbrist wrote in a statement. “Millions of people see them every day. It’s like something out of Blade Runner — facades of buildings interwoven with giant billboards of moving images.”
For this new-media venture, Olbrist has selected a who’s who of contemporary video artists. Among the 12 participants are 1996 Turner Prize laureate Douglas Gordon, last year’s Russian representatives at the Venice Biennale the AES+F group and multimedia guru Doug Aitken, who carried off the Golden Lion, one of art’s highest accolades, from the 1999 Biennale. The form’s precursors are also represented, by Dziga Vertov’s 1929 classic “Man with a Movie Camera,” Soviet documentary-maker Artavazd Peleshyan and German new wave legend Alexander Kluge.
Zhukova described the project as an “experiment — an unusual example of contemporary art leaving the confines of traditional museums or exhibition spaces.” Apart from the Russian Museum’s “Art Tour,” in which masterpieces from the collection were literally hung up on the street, and the now-defunct “Empty” video festival on Tverskoi Bulvar, there has indeed been little in the way of “outside art” in the city. “It’s a way of bringing art to everyone,” she added.
“This is the first of its kind for Moscow, this is the
first time that we have a video art project in the middle of the city, in the
open air, so that’s new and exciting, I think there are some artists that
we’ve included in our line-up who haven’t done anything formally in Russia so
that’s also definitely something people will be excited to see,” said
- Youtube video clip AES+F Last Riot