BACK ON TRACK AND NEWS from Garage | February 2021




On January 22, the Moscow city authorities removed some of the Covid-related restrictions on museums, meaning Garage exhibitions and our Library and Archive are open to the public once again. The 2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art and Tomás Saraceno. Moving Atmospheres are currently on view. We are happy to begin the new year on this optimistic note, and have put together some more news for you below.




The end of 2020 was marked by an important change among the team at Garage, when Katya Inozemtseva was appointed Chief Curator. Katya has been a curator at Garage since 2014 and became Senior Curator in 2017. Нer projects at Garage include solo exhibitions by Viktor Pivovarov (2016), Takashi Murakami (2017), Marcel Broodthaers (with Kate Fowle and Marie-Puck Broodthaers, 2018) and Pavel Pepperstein (2019). She was also part of the curatorial team of the 1st Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (2017) and curated one of the highlight exhibitions of 2020, “We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams." The Other East and Esoteric Knowledge in Russian Art 1905–1969, together with Andrey Misiano.

You can find Katya’s detailed biography on our website and her recent interview with art historian Nadya Plungyan on (in Russian).



The season begins with two exhibitions that came together as a reflection on the new reality created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene is a group exhibition with participants selected via open call, which aims to support the local arts community and presents artistic speculation as a way of interacting with reality. Present Continuous explores cancellations and “unrealized” ideas from the history of Russian art, based on materials preserved in Garage Archive Collection.

As well as these local initiatives, Garage will present several important international exhibitions. These include video projects by David Claerbout, Rodney Graham, and Sophia Al-Maria; Paweł Althamer’s spatial installation Silence as the 2021 Garage Square Commission; Spirit Labor: Duration, Difficulty, and Affect, a group exhibition about art that investigates and challenges the durational dimension of its agents; and the first Russian exhibition by Thomas Demand, with contributions from filmmaker and writer Alexander Kluge and architects SANAA.


Please save the date for the online preview of the spring exhibitions: March 24, 2021 (details to follow). You can find out more about our upcoming exhibitions below or on the website.




(March 27–July 4, 2021)

This exhibition, conceived during the spring 2020 lockdown, is the first in the history of Garage to be based on an open call. The Museum invited artists and artist groups living and working in Russia to assume any distance from the current situation and envisage speculation in its broad philosophical sense, as a way of interacting with reality and a contemplation of what is possible. Made up of projects selected from over one thousand applications, Assuming Distance will present a broad spectrum of absurd, fantastical, and frighteningly realistic forecasts, revelations, and scenarios. Whether they focus on alternative economies or conspiracy theories, new modes of employment or social interaction, control systems or biopolitics, these absurd, fantastical, visionary, collectively imagined worlds can be utopian or dystopian, based on real economic, political, and social forecasts or rooted in paradoxical, irrational creative thinking.

Curators: Ekaterina Lazareva, Ekaterina Savchenko, Iaroslav Volovod




(March 27–August 8, 2021)

Cancellations and “unrealized” ideas are probably more common in the lives of artists, architects, and institutions than finished projects. As the year 2020 has taught us, our attitude to them needs to change: we should develop a new, therapeutic approach to things that did not happen. Exploring the possibility of such an approach, Present Continuous brings to light incredible stories and names from the history of Russian art, carefully preserved in Garage Archive Collection.

The exhibition will include documentary reconstructions of unrealized ideas of various kinds. These very different projects were cancelled for various reasons, and those reasons can tell us more about life twenty years ago—and about our new pandemic reality—than some completed projects. The nature of the various cancellations and their delayed consequences are the main focus of Present Continuous.

Curators: Katya Inozemtseva and Sasha Obukhova, with Tonya Trubitsina




(March 27–May 2, 2021)

Unseen Sound, the first solo exhibition of Belgian artist David Claerbout in Russia, will feature four video works at the intersection of photography and film that immerse the viewer in a state of expanded vision.

The works in the exhibition explore the space left outside the frame of every shot, as attractive as it is unreachable. The video Sections of a Happy Moment (2007) focuses on a captured moment of a street volleyball game somewhere in China. Its sequel, The Algiers' Sections of a Happy Moment (2008) was shot on a football field on the rooftop of a building. The protagonists of The Quiet Shore (2011) and the “сonfetti” piece (2015–2018; the only color work in the exhibition) are little boys: in the first work, a boy is the source of an invisible sound that draws everyone’s attention; in the second, he is its victim.

Curator: Valentin Diaconov




(May 17–June 27, 2021)

For Rodney Graham’s first showcase in Russia, Garage will present one of his key works, Phonokinetoscope (2001), which highlights the Canadian artist and musician’s idiosyncratic understanding of the relationship between moving images, sound, and narrative building.

Phonokinetoscope is a complex symbiotic experiment where the traditional synchronization of sound with image and narrative is disrupted not only by the limitations imposed by the specially-built equipment but also by the random intervention of the audience. In the 16mm looped film we see a solitary Graham on a bicycle ride through Tiergarten in Berlin, evoking Albert Hofmann’s historic bike ride home from his laboratory in 1943 after making an interesting scientific discovery.

Curator: Snejana Krasteva




(June 1–September 30, 2021)

The 2021 Garage Square Commission is the spatial installation Silence by the renowned Polish artist Paweł Althamer. Located in front of the Museum, it will become a site for collective meditation, where the viewer-participant becomes part of a real time performance. Each element of the garden—be it a fallen tree or a bush—is a hidden quote, while the composition as a whole is a space where the restless modern city dweller can switch the mode of time, as if transported to the picturesque space of previous eras, when the rhythms and speeds of life had not accelerated to the limit. According to Althamer, Silence is a space where everything happens here and now, and this is the only way for a person to truly find time for themselves. The project will include a series of performative events.

Curator: Andrey Misiano




(July 5–August 15, 2021)

The writer and artist Sophia Al-Maria works at the intersection of documentary filmmaking, performance, and cinematic experimentations in the spirit of the new wave and post-Internet. Together with musician Fatima Al-Qadiri she coined the term Gulf Futurism, which defines the utopian landscapes of the rich countries of the Middle East, where skyscrapers rise above deserts. With her experience as a TV screenwriter, Al-Maria often experiments with the story structure: in her video collages, one can find elements of contemporary dance, film, reality shows, and music videos. On view at her first exhibition in Russia will be her latest film, Beast Type Song, the two-part work The Future was Desert, and other works revealing the duality of identity at the border of West and East.

Curator: Valentin Diaconov




(August 4, 2021–January 30, 2022)

The starting point for the exhibition is the very small segment of contemporary art that is dedicated to investigating and challenging the durational dimension of its agents, from the body of the artist to the act of making and viewing art.

This fixation on the temporal aspect, with viscous, problem-plagued time, often produces works that are hard to make and live through, difficult to endure as a viewer, at times barely tangible (as a piece can take a lifetime to manifest or is too monotonous), repetitive or simply not visible. By exploring the many different aspects of what duration(al) can mean, from endurance and body art to conceptual art, Spirit Labor examines the way this special feature produces something we might call "difficulty," as well as intense emotions or “affect"––an important, yet intangible and demanding type of “labor.”

Curators: Snejana Krasteva and Andrey Misiano




(September 11, 2021–January 30, 2022)

Thomas Demand has gone down in the history of contemporary art as the artist who revived photography as a full-fledged and living medium, capable of capturing complex states of reality (social, political, natural, personal) by balancing at the boundary of the fictitious and the seemingly truthful. The flickering between fact and fiction and made-up narratives in the history of culture is also the subject of many years of reflection by the German filmmaker and writer Alexander Kluge. For the exhibition, Kluge has proposed three film-responses to Demand’s works Six GlobesRuine/Ruin, and Repository, which will be shown in constructions developed by the artist. The “architecture” of fantasy and fact will be complemented by a design project from the architectural firm SANAA, who will design the part of the exhibition with works from Demand’s series Model Studies, about architectural models.

Curator: Katya Inozemtseva


CREDITS: Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Ivan Erofeev © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Portrait of Katya Inozemtseva. Photo: Anton Donikov © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Mikhail Maksimov, Flatality, 2020. Multi-channel video installation. Courtesy of the artist; Francisco Infante-Arana, Project for the Kinetic Lighting of the Kremlin Towers and Red Square, 1968. Garage Archive Collection (Francisco Infante-Arana archive); David Claerbout, the “confetti” piece, 2015–2018, video still. Two-channel video projection, 3D animation, silent, color, 18’ 25”. Сourtesy Studio David Claerbout © David Claerbout; Rodney Graham, Phonokinetoscope, 2001. 16-mm film (5’), record player, vinyl record. Ringer Collection, Switzerland; Paweł Althamer, Sketch for the installation Silence, 2020. India ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist; Sophia Al-Maria, Beast Type Song, 2019. Single-channel HD video, 38' 3”. Courtesy of the artist, Anna Lena Films, Paris, and Project Native Informant, London; Sun Furong, Nibbling, 2003–2005. Courtesy of the artist; Thomas Demand, Nursery, 2020. C-Print/Diasec. Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, Esther Schipper Galerie, Berlin, Galerie Sprüth Magers, London, Berlin, and Los Angeles, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/UPRAVIS, Moscow



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